Christian 03

Betty Tatum

June 26, 1950 ~ January 6, 2021 (age 70)


The Book of Life began for Betty Joyce Mathews Tatum on June 26, 1950 in Lorena, Texas. She was the second child born to Mr. Ira Mathews, Sr. and Mrs. Vera Williams Mathews. The household was never the same. She was fiercely independent, strong-willed, a staunch supporter and friend and loved her family.

Betty received her religious foundation after being baptized at the Mt. Rose Missionary Baptist Church of Lorena under the pastorage of Reverend J. C. Campbell. She later joined the Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church in the late 70’s under the pastorage of Reverend Doctor Rufus McClain. At Greater, she worked with the Junior Mission, was a member of the Junior Usher Board, Women’s Day Chorus and a dedicated teacher of Sunday School Class #6 under the leadership of Sister Corine McClain.

Her early education started at Jules Bledsoe Elementary School in Lorena. When the school close she was bused to Downsville where she completed the second through the 9th grades. In 1965 she entered the 10th great and graduated in 1968 from Lorena High School. She graduated from TSTI in 1969 with a Dental Assistance Certificate. While there she made a life-long friend, her adopted Mom, Alma Saunders Walker.

She retired from M&M/Mars.

She met and married James Edward Tatum, Sr. and they had one daughter, Charhonda “Mysti” Tatum.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Ira, Sr. and Vera Mathews, her grandparents, several maternal and paternal aunts and uncles and cousins.

Left to cherish her memory: daughter, Charhonda (Thong) Chakrathouk of Fort Worth, Texas; one brother, Ira Mathews, Jr.; sisters, Sheryl Newson and Helen Mathews Thompson (Lennard); grandchildren, Ambria Tatum and Takeo Matthew Chakrathouk; nephew, Chris Mathews; niece, Zoey Kennington; aunts, Hazel Cobb and Geneva Edwards and a host of loving dedicated relatives and friends.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Betty Tatum, please visit our floral store.


January 15, 2021

11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
McDowell Funeral Home, L.L.C.
1104 Chestnut Street
Waco, TX 76704

Graveside Service
January 16, 2021

1:00 PM
Waco Memorial Park
7531 South Interstate 35
Waco, TX 76706

January 16, 2021

Waco Memorial Park
7531 South Interstate 35
Waco, TX 76706

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