PIEDMONT | Betty Joyce (Hillis) Bedingfield, 86, died Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, at home after an extended illness.
She was born Dec. 18, 1932, to Savada (Hyatt) Hillis and Arcie Wilson Hillis in Hazel Green, Montgomery County, Alabama to a family of sharecroppers. Joyce graduated in 1950 from Central High School in McMinnville, TN, and earned her Registered Nurse designation from Baptist College in Nashville, TN, in 1953. She worked as an RN until her daughters were born, then became a full-time mother and homemaker.
She married John R. Bedingfield Jr., in Charleston, SC, in 1963.
Joyce is survived by her husband of 56 years, John R. Bedingfield Jr., MD, Piedmont; brother, John T. Hillis, McMinnville; daughters, Jennifer (David) Utter, Piedmont, Jessica (Ted) Stefaniak, Green Bay, WI, and Jacqueline (Chris) Pinard, La Livinière, France; and grandchildren, Johnathon Utter, Piedmont, Sarah Stefaniak and Hannah Stefaniak of Green Bay, WI.
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Joyce was fiercely independent and did not let an illness early in life stop her from reaching her goals. She overcame many obstacles and persevered in a time that was not so easy for women. While she loved working in the Operating Room and her family, she also enjoyed painting, quilting, drawing, writing poems, going to Deadwood with friends and family, volunteering as a poll worker in Piedmont, playing bridge with the Ruffs and Sluffs group, and observing the abundant wildlife from her sun porch in the Black Hills.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Foothills Community Baptist Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Joyce Bedingfield Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund, c/o Wells Fargo Bank, 825 St. Joseph St., Rapid City, SD 57701.