Betty Neal Ratliff McKinney passed away June 7, 2021
Betty Neal Ratliff McKinney passed away on June 7, 2021, at the age of 95 at Arbor House Assisted Living, her home for the last eight years. Betty was born to Henry William Ratliff and Sarah Elizabeth Price Ratliff on November 17, 1925, in Bowie, Texas. The youngest of eight children, she outlived her parents and all of her siblings.
Due to the illness of her mother, she was raised from her early teens by her oldest sister and brother-in-law, Willie May “Bill” Ratliff Richardson and Euel Richardson on a dairy farm near Temple, Oklahoma, where she worked side by side with them.
On August 10, 1947, Betty was married to her husband, Kenneth McKinney, who predeceased her in 2001 after 54 years of marriage.
Betty is survived by her daughters, Debra McKinney Jette of Marble Falls and Virginia McKinney Catherwood (Mike) of Tyler, Texas; her four grandchildren, Justin Jette (Jeanna) of Spicewood, Bryan Jette of Austin, Lauren Jette of Kerrville, and Lindsey Catherwood of Tyler; and her two great-grandsons, Max Jette of Chicago, Illinois, and Quincy Jette of Spicewood. She is also survived by nieces and nephews.
Betty was a member of a local ladies volleyball team, a bowling league, and always preferred working outside to inside as was shown by the mowing and trimming she did in her own yard and the yard at her church. She was a member of First United Methodist Church in Marble Falls from the time she and Kenneth moved to Marble Falls in 1954 until her death. She was the Sunday School Superintendent, along with Bettye Willis, for several years. She was also a member of the chancel choir at FUMC for many years. She was a housewife until her daughters both graduated from high school, when she attended Jackie Nell Business School in Austin for a “refresher” course in clerical practices, which landed her a job as a secretary with Texas Rehabilitation Commission. She commuted from Marble Falls to her job in Austin for 10 years, before the luxury of cellphones!
In her retirement years, she walked well over a mile most days in the east side of Marble Falls. Putting aside her childhood fear of the water, she joined water aerobics classes at the Marble Falls Athletic Club and continued exercising there for many years. She was also a faithful longtime volunteer for St. Fredrick’s Baptist Church Mission Outreach Meals program.
When her eyesight failed her, she gave up her house on East Sixth Street and moved to Arbor House Assisted Living, where she lived the last eight years of her life, being well taken care of and playing a mean game of bingo with her friend Sharon Chin! She especially enjoyed her church’s service at Arbor House on the fourth Sunday afternoon of every month. She always supported her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and stayed interested in their lives, activities, and careers until the very end. Her family thanks the Arbor House employees for their excellent care of Betty.
Betty’s memorial service will be held on Friday, June 25, at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church-Marble Falls, 1101 Bluebonnet Drive, Marble Falls, TX 78654. Memorials for Betty may be made to the FUMC Music Department at the address above or to St. Frederick’s Baptist Church Mission Outreach Meals, 301 Avenue N, Marble Falls, TX 78654.