Born in Lula, MS, on October 27, 1948 to the late Jefferson and Charlene Betts, Adrew was the 2nd born of the union. Earl the oldest, and Michael the youngest. Although he had no biological sisters, Adrew shared a special sisterly bond with his cousin, Ruthie Mae.
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Adrew developed a strong work ethic early in life. As a young boy, Adrew had to work in the cotton fields in the morning before attending class. But it was while attending Rosa Fort High School, he discovered his 1st passion, driving. He drove the school bus, picking up and dropping off his very own classmates. He truly enjoyed it.
Upon graduation, Adrew left the small town in which he grew up in. With the blessing of his mother and twenty dollars from his father, he boarded a Greyhound bus and headed to Chicago. He didn't have a plan, he didn't have a place to stay, but he had a determination to be successful. After sleeping on a bench in the bus station for 2 days, he called his aunt who would give him a place to stay. It was within a month he became gainfully employed with Automotive Electric Company.
Adrew's eyes and heart were captured by the beautiful Dorothy "Dot" Ruffin. It was during their courtship that he would be drafted into the United States Army. After completing basic training in Fort Benning, GA, Adrew and Dorothy were married. Adrew defended his country during the Vietnam war while stationed in Chu Lai, Vietnam.
Upon returning home from Vietnam, Adrew enrolled in Greer Technical Institute where he received his Professional Truck Driver's diploma. He would soon be on his way to fulfilling his dream of becoming a professional truck driver. Employed with United Parcel Service, he proudly boasted of driving 31 years accident free until he retired. Adrew, along with his wife Dorothy, opened Betts Barbeque in the Austin community in 1991.
Adrew was a devout Christian and a compete, well respected leader in his church and community. He served as Deacon at Chicago's Salem Baptist Church under the late Rev. Ernest Powell, he would later join the Greater St. John Bible Church under the leadership of Rev. Ira J. Acree. He served as a Deacon for 25 years, the last 7 as chairman of The Deacon's board. He worked with his pastor advocating in behalf of the people in the community where he lived for 46 years. He happily served as an usher on occasion and will be remembered for his heartfelt prayers.
Adrew was a dedicated husband, son and father. He cared for both his wife Dorothy and his mother Charlene full-time during their illnesses, all while batting non Hodgkin's lymphoma himself. They both preceded him in death. Even as adults, his children knew they could always depend on their father.
As a two time cancer survivor, Adrew supported St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He also gave to the annual Scholarship Fund of Greater St. John Bible Church to support graduates going off to college. Adrew was an encourager to all and advisor to many. He'd often say "I've lived the American dream and you can too, I just didn't want the puppy!"
In addition to barbequing and traveling, Adrew spent his time reading cookbooks, watching Pitmasters, the History Channel and CNN. He looked forward to his weekly meetings at the Veteran's Center and going out to dinner with his friends. He was a people person, no one was a stranger to him.
Adrew had 2020 planned out as far as road trips, but there was one trip in particular that he didn't have the exact date that he had been preparing for his entire life by trusting and serving the Lord....The prize didn't include a new big red grill, but instead it was a mansion with streets paved of gold! "Dot", his mom and dad were already there.
Adrew departed his earthly life in the early morning hours of April 5, 2020 at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois.
Adrew will be deeply missed by many, namely his daughter Gretchen Renee, sons Jeremy and Kenneth, grandsons Justin, Tyler, John, Jeremy Jr. and Jaden. Granddaughter Vykea, great grand daughter Madison, and great grandson Carter. A beloved sisterly cousin Ruthie Mae and his aunt, Lela "Shug" Betts. A best friend and brother Louis Lee. And host of other friends, family, and his entire Greater St. John Bible Church Family.