‘Backbone of effort’ among Town founders, Betty Dick passes

As the only female among the seven Town of Farragut founders from 1979 into early 1980 who saw their dream come true with incorporation made official Jan. 30, 1980, Betty Dick “was a very special lady — I tell you what, she was a little spitfire,” said Marianne McGill, a former Town alderman who was a key supporter of the incorporation fight alongside Betty and the other founders.

Mrs. Dick passed away Thursday, June 27. She was 84.

“I really seriously think that if it hadn’t been for her, we probably wouldn’t have made it because she had to do a lot of talking to people and convince them this was the right thing to do,” McGill said. “She was very good at that. She was always calm and unassuming and just a wonderful person. I just really miss her.

“When she made up her mind on something, she stuck to it,” the former alderman added about Mrs. Dick, elected as an alderman from 1981 to 1987 who also served on Farragut Municipal Planning Commission from 2012 to 2021.

Moreover, Mrs. Dick “actually laid the groundwork for all we did, and just started contacting the people she thought would be interested in helping, and found the right people,” McGill said. “She was really the backbone of the whole effort, I would say. We all had different issues that we were bothered with. It was flooding, signage, road cuts, curb cuts, all that.”

Mayor pays respect

Farragut Mayor Ron Williams paid his respects in two ways.

“I was at Betty Dick’s service (Saturday, June 29). Betty was a great historian and one of the founders of our Town,” he said. “If you go back and read ‘Full Speed Ahead’ again, then you kind of see how Betty was involved with all the ordinances and everything — her and Marianne McGill and Marty (Rodgers) and all the ones who sat there and read those things to get them approved and read into the record.

“She was a good volunteer, her and Jeremy (her husband). She was on the Planning Commission for all those years,” Williams added.

Beyond Town affairs, “She was a really good golfer; I don’t think a lot of people knew that,” the mayor said. “She played golf when she was past 80 years old over at Fox Den (Country Club). She was a member over at Fox Den.

“She was a good one; she’s sorely missed,” he added. “We always had her for the (Introduction to) Farragut classes to give history lessons to all the newbies in the class.”

Betty’s bonds, dedication

“When both she and (the late Dr.) Ralph (McGill) were on the (homeowners) board in Village Green, that’s how they got to know each other,” McGill said about Betty and her husband and former Town mayor. “They just started talking, ‘we’ve got this problem, we’ve got that problem.’

“She must have spent I don’t know how many hours on her typewriter at the time,” McGill added. “She talked David Rodgers (another of the seven founders and the first Town attorney) into helping us — he didn’t think we had a chance.

“But it all worked out.”