Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Betty Jean Lacey Williamson, 84, was born into this world September 30, 1928. On February 12, 2013, as her son Denny held her hand in his, she passed from this life to be reunited in heaven with her firstborn son Larry on the date of his 64th birthday. She was also joyously reunited with Denzel, her husband of 55 years, and her parents, Dennis H. and Verdia Rhea (Smith) Lacey, and many other angels who went before her.
Betty was born on an oil lease near Earlsboro, Oklahoma. She was a 1947 graduate of Bowlegs High School. After graduation she met Denzel Williamson, a handsome young WWII veteran who was attending Seminole Jr. College. They were married in Van Buren, Arkansas in 1948.
After a year in Texas they made their home in Married Student Housing on the OU campus. Following Denzel’s graduation from the University of Oklahoma they followed the oil patch, living in various Oklahoma towns as well as in Texas and Kansas.
They chose Pauls Valley as the place to settle and raise their four children: Larry Denzel, Ben Eugene, Rhea Ann and Denny Lee.
Betty was a stay-at-home mom until 1969 when she and Denzel established Williamson’s Furniture Store in Pauls Valley. She worked in the store until Denzel’s death in 2003.
She enjoyed the customers and considered them her friends. Her former employees fondly remember the “dust rag.” If you weren’t busy on a delivery or helping customers, you better have a dust rag in your hand.
Betty instilled in her children the importance of family. She made sure they attended every family reunion on the calendar. Vacations were mapped out based on where other family members lived. Their homes were the vacation destinations.
When family members came to Betty’s home, they were treated like royalty and greeted with a smile. The red carpet was rolled out and the Mercury Marquis fired up. Guests were shown Southern Hospitality and the town.