Pauls Valley, Oklahoma —
Betty also taught her children, “If you’re not going to do it the right way, don’t do it at all.” Betty lived what she preached.
She was the consummate entertainer, the original Martha Stewart. She paid attention to every little detail, from the festive decor to the menu. Christmas trees were hand-flocked. The coconut on which the mounds of Jello Jiggler eggs sat was hand-dyed. Fourth of July cakes were hand-decorated with blueberries and strawberries in the shape of the flag.
All family get-togethers were considered special occasions. She made sure everyone’s favorites were on the table. She made “red soup and Eckridge sausage” for Denver. She made “Pink Stuff” for Lesley. Everyone requested Larry’s and Ben’s favorite enchiladas and chicken fried steak. Her pinto beans and stuffing were also a favorite.
On New Year’s Day the tradition was for Betty to make black-eyed peas and hog jowls as the Rose Bowl Parade played on the TV. Betty loved parades! On Thanksgiving it was The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In 2005, Betty and Rhea Ann were thrilled to travel to New York to watch the Macy’s Parade in person.
Betty also traveled to London, England with the Red Hat Society to ride in the New Year’s Day Queen’s Parade.
Traveling was one of Betty’s favorite pastimes. She loved traveling around the country and abroad with the Red Hatters. She enjoyed Gospel Cruises with her friends from Trinity Baptist Church.
For 50 years Betty and Denzel traveled around the country attending his 45th Division World War II reunions. Betty frequently signed up for Mystery Trips. If someone said, “Go,” she was ready.
Betty was an accomplished shopper, a skill that she passed on to her daughter. Betty and Rhea Ann were often asked by Denzel why they were so late when the stores had obviously closed hours earlier. When all else was closed, they found the 24 hour Wal-Mart. Betty particularly enjoyed shopping for jewelry, purses and shoes.