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Betty Lou Taylor Mechatto,77, passed away peacefully on February 15, 2022 at Singing River Hospital of Gulfport surrounded by her family. She was born July 12, 1944 in Greenwood, Mississippi and raised in Tchula until her high school years when she moved to Belzoni, Mississippi. Betty’s high school years demonstrated exactly the kind of person she would be as an adult. In addition to playing basketball and cheering, she was voted Friendliest, Best All Around, and Senior Maid. She continued to keep in touch with her high school friends for the rest of her life.
After settling in Gulfport in 1969, Betty quickly adapted to life on the Gulf Coast. She was known to make friends wherever she went because of her giving spirit, her outgoing personality, and her servant’s heart. Her first job was at Harry’s Quick Shop where customers quickly learned to love the woman behind the counter, and she loved them in return. Betty never met a stranger. In subsequent years, Betty enjoyed her work at the Grand Casino and as an admissions counselor and top salesperson at Phillips College where her colleagues there loved and appreciated her as well.
Beginning in 2008, Betty helped establish and was an integral part of the In Touch Ministry at Trinity United Methodist Church. Betty made phone calls and sent cards to home-bound members of the church. As always, Betty’s phone calls were never hurried ones; she cared enough to talk to each person she spoke with and maintained contact with them long after an initial conversation. Again, Betty made friends wherever she was, as is exemplified in the words of her long-time friend, Christine Corban O’Bannon, “I just love Miss Betty. She had a contagious laugh and a heart of gold; she was a kind, Christian woman.” A woman of devout faith, Betty was a member of First Baptist Church of Gulfport for many years. In later years she attended Trinity United Methodist where she loved being in the company of her son Phillip, her daughter-in-law April, and her precious grandchildren Wesley and Abigail.
Betty’s greatest pleasure was spending time with her family. Her son Todd’s friends viewed Betty as their second mother. They loved watching football and grilling with her, and she loved them in return. Her pride in her grandchildren Wesley and Abby was immense. She loved talking about Wesley and his service in the U.S. Marines and about her “princess” Abby as a student as LSU. Betty stayed in close contact with a large number of nieces, nephews, and cousins throughout her life. She adored spending time with her extended family at holidays and reunions. They loved spending time with her as well. The latest addition to Betty’s family, her first great-grandchild, Keaten Renee Mechatto, brought great joy to her in the last part of her life.
Her cousin Anthony Shelton said that they were a close-knit group of first cousins. When one of us was in need of prayer Betty was the first one contacted. We knew she would spread the word no matter how bad she was feeling. Her dear friend Leila Mansoor said she has never met a person more caring and loving than Betty. She stated that she has so many beautiful memories of their years together in Tchula and she felt Betty was more like a sister than a friend.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents Bluford Thomas Taylor, Sr., and Lou Ethel Vowell Taylor. She is survived her by her brothers Bluford Thomas Taylor, Jr., Kenneth Blair Taylor, Sr., children Phillip Charles (April) Mechatto, Jr., Todd Taylor Mechatto, grandchildren, Wesley Taylor (Morgan) Mechatto, Abigail Anne Mechatto, and great-granddaughter Keaten Renee Mechatto. Betty is also survived and will be greatly missed by her nieces, nephews, and special cousins.

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