Betty Bostwick Mason of Birmingham, and in later years, Mentone, Alabama, age 94, passed away this past Saturday, November 25, 2023. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, on February 26, 1929, to Lamar and Sue Aldridge, she was the younger sister of Jane Montgomery and older sister of Sue Newton. Betty attended Avondale Grammar School and Ramsey High School. While at Duke University, she met John Allen Bostwick, Jr. (deceased 2006) and they married on September 2, 1949. During 1950, Betty graduated from Duke University with a Bachelors of Arts degrees in both Mathematics and Physics. Together, John and Betty returned to Alabama and raised three children, Linda Arnold, Theodore "Ted" Bostwick (Stephanie), and Allene Zvara, while residing in the cities of Guntersville, Decatur, and Mountain Brook, Alabama.
During her time in north Alabama, Betty actively participated in the Alabama Association for Mental Health, including one term as Vice President. Betty also spent nine years volunteering in prison ministries reaching out to those that others had forgotten at the Jefferson County Jail and Tutwiler Prison.
Betty and John were active members of Briarwood Presbyterian Church and were part of its founding membership. At times, Betty served as a Sunday School teacher, Circle Bible Teacher and a member of its W.I.C. Board.
To know Betty was to be ready for any and all conversations regarding her active involvement with the Grand Ole Party, the Eagle Forum, and many other forms of civic involvement. Betty was not just vocal, she put herself to work. Betty served terms on the Morgan County Republican Executive Committee, the Jefferson County Republican Committee, and the Alabama Republican Party, Policy & Issues Committee. Betty also served as a lobbyist and chaired the Eagle Forum of Alabama, 6th Congressional District. During her lifetime, she packed “survival kits” for the freedom fighters of Nicaragua and was almost arrested in Finland for passing messages of Christianity over the border into Russia. Well into her last years, Betty focused on GOP politics, including making national news for her support of the GOP candidate running for the Dekalb County Sheriff’s office. Betty was a staunch advocate and uncompromising believer until the end.
Betty’s other passion was competitive figure skating and she spent thousands of hours at the Alpine Ice Arena located on Oxmoor Road. Inspired by the films of Sonie Henie, Betty spent time learning how to skate, teaching future skaters, and performing herself, through her membership with the Birmingham Figure Skating Club. Betty’s passion for figure skating led to her own training and service as a “Low Test Judge” for the United States Figure Skating Association. Throughout her life, she traveled to the Olympics, Worlds, and other competitions to see the very best skaters perform. Betty served as a sponsor and advisor to John Zimmerman and Kyoko Ina as they climbed the ranks of competitive figure skating (resulting in 3 National Championships). She delighted in every one of John and Kyoko’s performances and competitions.
In 2012, Betty married Frank Mason and she spent the last eleven years of her life with him in Mentone, Alabama. Betty kept Frank on his toes as they enjoyed long walks in the unspoiled wilderness of Frank’s LIttle River Farm and long talks over their shared involvement with GOP party politics. While in Mentone, Betty became an active member of the Grace Presbyterian Church and talked about her new friendships and relationships with her fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Betty loved her six grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren: Allen Arnold ((Evalouise) Adelia, Lillian and Katherine), Allene Arnold, William Zvara ((Mallory), WIlliam Ladd, Adeline, Hampton), Daniel Zvara ((Joanna) Carli Rose, Burkie, Wells, and, Ella Marie), Jean Battle Jourdan ((Daniel), Timothy, Rexford), and John Allen Bostwick, III. For almost twenty years, Betty and John treated their children and grandchildren to a week-long trip at Callaway Gardens where they biked, swam, water-skied, and enjoyed Fourth of July fireworks. This desire to bring family together created the strong bonds amongst her grandchildren that exist to this day.
Funeral services will be held at Briarwood Presbyterian Church this Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. Visitation at 12:00 p.m. Private graveside service for the family. The family would like to extend a special thanks to Betty's caregivers: Jo, Tawanda, Jackie, Kathy, Linda, Liz, Sharon, and Deborah. In lieu of flowers, donations made in Betty’s honor may be given to Seamark Ranch 3631 Seamark Ranch Road, FL-16, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043, Briarwood Presbyterian Church 2200 Briarwood Way Birmingham, AL 35243, or Grace Presbyterian Church 5760 Gault Ave N, Fort Payne, AL 35967. .