People and Places of Anderson County

Betty Lovell (photo:Joe Bonomo )
99-year-old Betty Lovell is most at home in her garden, cultivating her flowers, shrubs and trees in the sunshine.

She has lived in Norris for 70 years, in the same cottage on Dogwood Road that she raised her four children in. While many people moved to Norris during that time to work for TVA or even as scientists in Oak Ridge, Lovell came here from New York as a babysitter.

Her husband, Reg, did eventually find work in Oak Ridge.

But she babysat for an Oak Ridge physicist that “helped invent the bomb,” she said.

Her days as a young woman were spent raising her children and hosting dinner parties in the small, tight-knit community. She eventually went on to work at the Grist Mill and then for the founder of the Lenoir Museum, William Lenoir.

Norris hasn’t changed all that much, according to Lovell, except for the fact that people don’t get together as much as they used to.

For Lovell’s birthday this year, her daughter put a request on social media for as many people as possible to send her birthday cards.

She got about as many as the years she’s lived on Earth.

LaFollette resident Joe Bonomo is a prolific, successful artist, and is passionate about portraiture.

He spent many hours in Anderson County recently photographing people in town and learning a little about them, and then going back home and creating their portraits. To find out more about Bonomo’s art, visit, on Facebook at, and on Instagram at @bonomoart. This series, however, is only available in The Courier News.