Bettye Louise Burnett Russell, 95, of Llano, Texas, joined her Lord and Savior and loved ones in heaven on August 2, 2020. She was born April 13, 1925 at Baptist Hospital in Houston to Howell Aubrey (Hal) and Alma Sarah Burnett. She was baptized at the Woodlands Methodist Church. She died in her home surrounded by family in Llano, where she resided 64 years on Sandstone St., 56 years with her loving husband, Gene Russell, who joined his Lord in 2012.
Bettye attended high school in Del Rio, graduating from Thomas Jefferson in San Antonio. While at Del Rio she met Gene who would later become her soulmate for life. She also had the honor of being the only student to work in the office which began her interest in education.
She attended college at Texas State College for Women in Denton, where her mother Alma had graduated in 1922. After three years Bettye graduated in 1945 with a B.S. in Foods and Nutrition.
On January 28, 1945, she married the love of her life when Gene was on R&R from the war. They married on campus at the Little Chapel in the Woods and Gene went back to the war the same month. After VE Day, Gene came home and they moved to Lubbock where she taught one year elementary grade school 4/5 while her husband attended college. Her son Derral Gene was born in Lubbock. She knew then that she loved being a mother.
They moved to Castell, Texas in 1947 and her second son David Aubrey was born. In 1951 they moved to Llano and her third son was born, Bryan Rex.
She started teaching kindergarten above her garage in 1956. Then her fourth son Bruce Lynn was born and later son number five was born, Dale Burnett. She taught kindergarten for 13 years and was known for putting at least 20 children in her station wagon to take them for program practice at the elementary school, walking in single file much to the principal’s amazement. One of those precious children was Dr. David Hoerster, who has been lovingly treating her in her later years.
In 1969, she taught vocational homemaking in the Llano school district, starting for two years on a temporary certificate, gaining certification in November 1971. She also served as a dietary consultant at the Llano Hospital. She retired October 1988.
She and her husband enjoyed traveling during this time and traveled to all the states except for Hawaii because you could not get there by travel trailer. They visited Alaska three times, twice by trailer and once by cruise. They enjoyed visiting their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. They also traveled to the 82nd fighter group reunions in various states for 20 years.
Bettye has been an active member of Lutie Watkins Memorial United Methodist Church since the early 60’s. She has taught Sunday School and been active in the UM Woman’s Group, POSSE, and Bible Study. In June 2018 she received a Special Mission Recognition, a gift for ministries with women, children, and youth. She was also active in many community activities and the culture club. She was very active socially in her twilight years with very special church friends.
Bettye is survived by her son, Derral and wife Sharan of Kenedy, Texas; son, Bryan and wife Vicki of Magnolia, Texas; son, Bruce and wife Janie of Port Aransas and Woodlands, Texas; and son, Dale of Frisco, Texas. Bettye was blessed with 14 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, Howell and Alma Burnett; brother, Jewel Aubrey Burnett; baby daughter, Sharon Lynn Russell; son, David Aubrey Russell; grandson, Cody Ryan Russell; and daughter in love, Bitsy Russell.
Bettye’s life revolved around her family, her husband, and children. She loved the Lord and loved life. She was truly respected and loved by many friends who were considered family to her.
Bettye’s last wishes were to express thanks to all who cared for her: Dr. David Hoerster and nurses at Llano Hospital, the staff and nurses at Llano Nursing and Rehab, Dr. Adapala and staff and nurses at Baylor Scott and White in Marble Falls, and all her family and friends who kept her smiling through her last months.
The family request memorials be made in Bettye B. Russell’s name to Solaris Hospice 102 W. Dallas St. Llano, Texas 78643.
Funeral arrangements made under the direction of Waldrope-Hatfield-Hawthorne Funeral Homes, Inc. Llano, Texas. E-mail condolences may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.