Mrs. Mildred Frances Bentley Baxley (Midge), age 80, of Tallapoosa, GA, passed away April 21, 2013.
Midge was born August 1, 1932 in Tallapoosa to the late Bud and Bessie Mae Robertson Bentley. She was the last of six home birthed children delivered by Dr. E. L. Gilmore. The five previous children were born in Alabama. The child closest to Midge in age was Ruth who was twelve years her senior. When Midge entered elementary school, Ruth entered Young Harris College the same month. Other siblings were Ethel DuBois, Mattie Lambert, Fred Bentley and Howard Bentley. Midge would often say, “I grew up virtually as an only child, spoiled by my brothers and sisters and I loved it.” When Midge was six years old, her two brothers and oldest sister were married so she soon had nephews as playmates. Midge’s nephews and nieces included Howard and Freddy Bentley, twin sons of Fred and Willard Bentley; Chris Bentley, son of Flo and Howard Bentley; James, Charles, Joe and Bill DuBois, sons of Ethel and James DuBois; Barbara Ann Lambert, adopted daughter of Mattie and Jessie Lambert; Anna and Wesley Wilvert, daughter and son of Ruth and Wil Wilvert. Anna had a premature death at the age of twelve when train collided with her Girl Scout troop bus.
When six weeks old, Midge was enrolled in the First Methodist Church in Tallapoosa. She became a member at the age of twelve. She was active in the church and youth programs all through her growing up years. Midge graduated from Tallapoosa High School in 1949, from Young Harris College in 1951, received a BS from Georgia Southern in Statesboro in 1955, obtained a Masters from Peabody College in Nashville in 1962 and an EDS from the University of Georgia in 1971. While in college, Midge was active in little theatre groups which she continued with through out her life. Her teaching career included teaching at Tallapoosa High School right out of college in 1955, East Coweta High School from 1956-1959 and South Cobb High School from 1959-1962. She served as a Media Specialist in Dayton, Ohio, Russell High School and Briarwood High School, the latter two in East Point, GA. In 1967 she began teaching at the University of Georgia in the College of Education where she remained for seven and one half years. She returned to Briarwood High School in East Point in the fall of 1976 as a Media Specialist. When Briarwood closed, she then taught at College Park High School. She retired in 1990 from Tri-Cities High School in College Park. She was a member of many professional educational organizations on the local, state and national levels.
Midge was married December 29, 1971 to Bennett Baxley, a graduate of Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia. After retirement, Midge moved back to Tallapoosa where she renovated the old home place, the Bentley House on Bowdon Street. She became involved in the Tallapoosa Historical Society, the Downtown Development Authority and the Tallapoosa Garden Club. She was a charter member of the Red Hatters, a member of the Friends of the Library, a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and was active in the town political scene. She even ran for Mayor of Tallapoosa!
Midge is survived by her sister and brother in law, Ruth and Willy Wilvert of Tallapoosa; sister in law, Betsie Bentley of Birmingham, AL; her beloved dog, Sophie Tucker and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 11:00 AM from the Tallapoosa Methodist Church with Revs. Randy Walworth, John Norton, and Jimmy Bryan officiating. Eulogies will be by Tommy Allen, Don Howe, Jr and Lowell White. Music will be provided by Jerry Mathis, Eddie Hulsey and Martie Abney. Pallbearers serving will be Bruce Crim, Don Boggan, Ken Barkley, Sam Farmer, Ricky Hunter, Keith Wiggins, Jerry Jarrell and Jeff Baxley. Honorary pallbearers will be members of Tallapoosa high school classes 1955 and 1956; John Bentley, Scott Treadwell, Joe Mosley, Ken Roberts, Dillard Mize, Ralph Green, Donald Jackson, Mack Cain, Buzzy Farmer, James Boatwright, Charles Coggins and Zane Saxon.
Interment will follow in Hollywood City Cemetery.
The family will receive friends, Wednesday evening between the hours of 6:00 and 9:00 PM.