Bettye June Sims Whiting, 98, of Bells died March 20, 2023.
Bettye June Sims Whiting was born on May 5, 1924, in her parent’s home in Colbert, Oklahoma. Bettye was raised on her family’s farm during the Great Depression where, despite the tough times, she would often reminisce fondly about her childhood and would tell stories about raising chickens, churning butter, picking cotton and riding her horse to school.
Bettye graduated from Colbert High School and attended Southeastern State College where she obtained a degree in Elementary Education. During WWII, Bettye contributed to the war effort by working in a defense factory. After college, Bettye worked as an elementary school teacher in both Denison and Bells.
On June 26, 1948, Bettye married the love of her life, Joe Henry “Buddy” Whiting. Bettye moved with Buddy to his ranch in Bells where they worked hard, built a home, and raised a family together. Bettye and Buddy remained married for 68 years until Buddy passed away in 2016.
Bettye was a homemaker, devoted wife, and loving mother to their three children. As keeping the ancestral land that has been in their family for over 185 years and adding to it when possible was a high priority for her and Buddy, Bettye used her inheritance to expand their ranch.
Bettye was a lifelong Christian, a long-time member of the First United Methodist Church of Bells where she was an active member of United Methodist Women and taught Sunday School for over thirty years. She also loved soap-operas and expanding her various collections of bells, crosses, novelty pencil sharpeners, and stuffed animals which delighted the many children who have played at her home. Besides faith, nothing was more important to Bettye than family. Due to her guidance and example, her large family of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and their spouses have remained close-knit throughout the years, and most of those descendants continue to live on or near the ranch to date.
At 98 years old, Bettye continued to live independently in her marital home until her passing on March 20. She is survived by her children: Jo Lynne Whiting & husband Frank Nelson, Steve & Sharon Whiting, and Molly Jan and Mike Weger; grandchildren: Sammi and Tony Sopko, Josh and Kristin Weger, Hadley and Monica Whiting, Ashley and Justin Reiter, Ryan and Rachael Weger, and Lyndsi and Josh Martinez; and great-grandchildren: Rylee, Landri, and Macy Hicks; Kinley and Jace Weger; Miranda, Hayes, and Walker Whiting; Rawlins and Reeves Reiter; Sadie Weger; Emma and Charlee Hughes; and Cruz and Cash Martinez; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband Buddy, grandson Blake Richardson, parents Sam Patrick and Lena Pearl Sims, sister and brother-in-law LaVerne & Elvis Bledsoe, brother and sister-in-law Sam Bill and Lorene Sims, and brother Paul Dale Sims.
Family night will be held on Thursday, March 23, 2023 at 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at Mullican Little Funeral Home 754 State Hwy 56 E. Bells, Texas 75414. Bettye’s funeral will be on Friday, March 24, 2023 at 11:00 AM at First United Methodist Church 301 S. Pecan Street Bells, Texas 75414, with a graveside service to follow at the Dugan/Whiting Family Cemetery. Memorial donations can be made to the Bells First United Methodist Church.