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Betty Joyce Harrell Wilkerson was born June 17, 1947 to parents Roosevelt and Eva Mae Harrell, in Blanks, Louisiana. She was raised in Maringouin, Louisiana, graduating from Thomas A Levy High School in neighboring Rosedale. Thereafter, she continued her education at Southern University, where she obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration.
Betty moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, where she married the love of her life, Julius Wilkerson, Jr. and gave birth to her son, Julius Allen Wilkerson. Over the years, Betty continued to develop her professional acumen. She worked as an administrative professional under pioneer physician Dr. Oscar Carter, MD, and went on to hold several notable positions with key organizations, such as the Desire Narcotics Rehabilitation Center and The Velocity Foundation. Following Hurricane Katrina, she briefly returned to Maringouin, where she worked for Wesley's Funeral Home until she returned to New Orleans. She spent time as an administrator with Walker Volkswagen of Metairie, until she took on an administrative executive role with New Orleans City Hall, which led to her later role of Executive Assistant to Ellen Hazeur within the office of New Orleans First City Court.
Her most notable roles, however, were those of Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend, and the incomparable "Tee Betty." She was a true confidant, always more than willing to listen - and always prepared to tell you the entire truth, without hesitation. She was feisty and funny, yet warm and caring all the while. Being near her always felt like home. She was only one call away, no matter the circumstance, and her door and her heart were always open.
Betty loved traveling, and would hop on an international flight or hit the highway to her next destination at any given moment. And while she loved taking trips with family and friends, she was also more than ready to go solo. All she needed was her satellite radio or a mix CD, where she could jam to her favorite music artists which ranged from Tupac to Ray Charles. She knew every word to all her favorite songs, and was never too shy to sing them!
On Thursday, November 15, 2018, at the age of 71, Betty departed this life to be with our Lord. She was preceded in death by her parents, Roosevelt and Eva Mae Harrell; sister, Phyllis Falconer (Carl); and stepson, Dwayne Wilkerson. She will be lovingly remembered by her husband of 40 years, Julius Wilkerson, Jr., her son, Julius Allen Wilkerson, stepdaughter, Yvette Rivarde (Kenneth), stepson, Darnell W. Lee (Erica), stepdaughter, Ebony Magee, stepson, Kaleb Wilkerson, and by her brothers and sisters Carol Ann Guidry (Willie), Barbara Woolfolk (Earl), Mona Williams (John), Connie Lewis, Harvey Harrell (Patricia), Chester Larry Harrell (Sheila), James Harrell, and Dwayne Harrell (Dianne). She also leaves her memory to her 20 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, a host of beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, many other close relatives and very dear friends.
Relatives and friends of the family, also Pastors, officers and members of Historic Second Baptist Church are invited to attend a funeral service at 10:00 AM on Saturday, November 24, 2018 at Historic Second Baptist Church, 2505 Marengo St. Rev. Robert Jackson officiating. Visitation will be from 8:00 AM until 10:00 AM. Interment: Greenwood Cemetery. Arrangements by D.W. Rhodes Funeral Home. Please visit www.rhodesfuneral.com to share online condolences.