We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel & Crematory
On September 5th, 2022, Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Wildman, age 96, of Fountain City was joyously welcomed into heaven by her family, friends, and her Savior in whom she found strength and peace throughout her whole life. She passed away surrounded by loved ones. While her family grieves her passing and will miss her smile and laugh more than anything, they find peace in the fact that she is free of sickness and has been reunited with all of those who loved her in life.
Betty was born on December 29th, 1925 in Maryville, TN to Mr. and Mrs. AC Montgomery. She graduated from Lenoir City High School in 1944 and attended both Maryville College and the University of Tennessee at Memphis. She graduated with a B.S. RN and, during her senior year of college, enlisted as a US Cadet Nurse with the intention of serving in WWII. The war ended prior to her graduation, but, as she loved to remind everyone, she would have jumped at the chance to reenlist if her country ever needed her again. She was the first woman in her family to earn a college degree and was immensely proud of this fact. In 1949, she married Charlie Wildman and together they raised three children: Cynthia, Fred, and Susan.
The most important aspects of Betty’s life were her family, her faith, and her community. Betty worked for most of her life as a nurse which was the perfect profession for her caring heart. She served as a RN at Fort Sanders Medical Center, St. Mary’s hospital, and for the City of Knoxville as a school nurse. She was a member of Fountain City United Methodist Church for over 70 years and faithfully served in the choir, church kitchen, United Methodist Women, and as a member of the Christian Fellowship Sunday School Class. To go to FCUMC any time in the past 7 decades was to know Betty Wildman, and she was known to let others know just how their gifts could be utilized for the service of the church. Betty loved the outdoors and was a member of the Fountain City Sportsman’s Club at Norris Lake, her home away from home and the place where her chosen family spent time. She traveled every chance she could, venturing as far as the seas of Alaska and the volcanos of Hawaii. Betty found joy in her flower gardens, any type of UT Vols sporting event, baking for others, maintaining her home, and spending time with her family and friends. She sent thank you cards to every person who had ever done her a favor and always wanted others to know just how valued they were. Her favorite title was “Mee Maw” and she loved being a grandmother more than anything else. Betty exuded positivity, grace, and joy. Even amid her hardest days and most difficult trials, she never complained, never spoke an ill word, and never stop praising the Lord.
Betty is preceded in death by her husband of 48 years, Charlie Wildman, as well as her sisters, Virginia Breazeale and Lucy Cusick, and her brother, Andrew Montgomery. She is survived by her sister Vivian Clark, her children Cynthia Schultz, Fred Wildman (Annette), and Susan Shipman (Doug); grandchildren Chuck Wildman (Stacie), Ben Wildman (Laura), Matthew Wildman (Katie), Katie Anzalone (Ryan), Beth Maldonado (Joe), Suzy Schultz, Sarah Shipman, Molly Searcy (Carlton), and Rachel Shipman, as well as 8 great grandchildren and many close friends, including her dear friend Polly Kelly. The family would like to extend their utmost gratitude and appreciation to the staff at Winsor Gardens Assisted Living, UT Hospice, and all nurses and hospital staff for their faithful and compassionate care of their mother/grandmother.
The family will receive friends from 5:00 – 7:00 PM Friday, September 9th, 2022 at Fountain City United Methodist Church, followed by a funeral service at 7:00 PM with Rev. Dr. Randy Frye and Rev. Don Hanshew officiating. Family and friends will gather on Saturday, September 10th at 3:00 PM at Lynnhurst Cemetery for a graveside service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fountain City United Methodist Church Kitchen Fund or Music Fund.
Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel is honored to serve the Wildman family and invites you to view and sign the online registry.