Betty Jo Evans
Betty Jo Evans
  • July 3, 1929 - August 8, 2017
  • Fort Worth, Texas

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Betty Jo Evans raised three sons, loved one man and nurtured countless East Fort Worth elementary students before retiring to enjoy her grandchildren and dote on a wave of great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Evans passed away peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, her husband of 67 years at her side.

Born July 3, 1929, to Harry Leon and Alice Gertrude Brown, Betty grew up in The Keechi community in rural Leon County until age nine when the family moved to Centerpoint.

The second of six siblings, Betty's family nickname was, Little Mama, as she was her mother's (and siblings') choice to watch over the children from time to time.

"She'd tell us some stories, and at night she'd read to us," her sister, Doris Henderson of Paul's Valley, Oklahoma, recalled this week.

Betty was especially close with her childhood friend, Arnetta, her brother, Harry Jr., and cousin Mary Alice Doss whom she considered her fifth sister.

Betty earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Texas State College for Women in three years so she could start her career and help put Harry Jr. through college. Before leaving TSCW and Denton, though, she met World War II veteran and North Texas State College student Charles Lee Evans who was standing in one night to direct a church choir rehearsal.

The couple wed less than a year later, and the young teachers started a family in East Fort Worth.

Betty and Charlie raised three boys, Charles Dudley, Mark and Glenn. Betty returned to the classroom when Glenn, the youngest, entered first grade.

She taught second grade from 1968 to 1988, many of those school years next door to her best friend, Maudine Goodman, with whom she would discuss their work and lives on the phone for hours after the last bell.

Betty lived her retirement years traveling with Charles and their grandchildren, and taking up country and ballroom dance with longtime friends. The couple met Jim and Evelyn Bowen among their dancing group, and the Bowens remain Charles and Betty's closest friends.

Betty was preceded in death by her brother and sisters Selma Wellborn and Carolyn Croom.

In addition to Charles, her three sons and sisters Doris Henderson and Nell Keene, she is survived by daughters-in-law Jan Evans (Dudley) and Bonnie Evans (Mark); grandchildren Sarah Evans, Jennie LaBuhn, Katie McCombs, Will Evans and Steven Evans; and great-grandchildren, Sydney LaBuhn, River Ovsen, Abigael LaBuhn, Celeste Ovsen, Lilly LaBuhn, James McCombs, Bryan Griffiths, Bridget Evans and, by Monday, John McCombs.