Elizabeth (Betty D. Clayton) was born to “share croppers” living in a rural area near Epps, LA. Her father entered the ministry when she was about ten years of age and took his family to finish high school and college. Her parents both took their degrees and raised their family an entire social class in one generation: “a notable and very rare occurrence” reported her first psychiatrist of twenty-three years.
Elizabeth completed all of her education in Mississippi, to which her family had moved when she was an infant, including graduate studies at the master’s level in the areas of literature and psychology. She began teaching at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS at age twenty and retired from teaching fifteen years ago from Hinds Community College in Raymond, MS, in the psychology department where she chaired the department for over twenty years, following an automobile accident which very nearly required her right leg.
Elizabeth is a widow of seventeen years, but enjoys a wealth of friends. She lives alone in her comfortable country home near Jackson, MS. When symptoms are moderated, her hours are spent painting, sculpting, writing and a variety of other artistic pursuits; she also teaches classes at a small liberal arts university near her home. She must, and does, return to her solitude where she most free and productive. Her autobiography was published by Trafford in 2006, followed by a small, self-illustrated volume of poetry in 2007, and a modest volume of love verses, again self-illustrated in the spring of 2008. She is under the care of Dr. John Norton at the University Medical Center in Jackson, MS and it is he who insisted she “tell her story”; and so the record has been penned.