Mrs. Betty Ruth Ring
March 18, 1923 – June 5, 2014
Betty Abrego Ring, a fifth generation Texan and longtime resident of Houston, died peacefully in her home Thursday morning, the 5th of May 2014. Born on the 18th of March 1923, in Beaumont, Texas, to Claude and Nellie Fitzsimmons Abrego, Betty spent much of her childhood along America’s east coast as they moved often to be near her father an engineer but returned to Houston where most of her family lived to attend Lamar High School followed by the University of Texas at Austin. In June of 1942, at the tender age of 19, she married Gregg Ring of Houston, a union that would last over 65 years and produce seven children. After raising her children Betty spent much of her life pursuing her interests in history, antiques and the decorative arts. She was a passionate scholar and collector of 18th and early 19th century American schoolgirl needlework. A brilliant researcher, writer and astute collector she became a recognized expert on the subject of early American needlework compiling one of the finest collections of schoolgirl embroideries in existence. Authoring and editing numerous books and magazine articles her magnum opus “Girlhood Embroidery” was published in 1993. Well respected in her field Betty was bestowed with many awards and accolades by her peers. She became the subject of many magazine and newspaper articles and was especially proud to receive the prestigious Antiques Dealers Association Award of Merit in 2005. During her many years of volunteer work in Houston Betty served as President of the Harris County Heritage Society (now the Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park), was on the board of directors of the Houston Public Library and a Docent at the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens. Betty was a longtime member of the Ladies Reading Club, and also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the Colonial Dames of America. She was preceded in death by her son, George Randolph Ring; her grandson, Tyler Nicholas Davidson; her brother, Richard Abrego; and her husband, Gregg Ring. She is survived by her children, Brian Ring, Loretta Britton Giles, Gregg Ring, Jr., Stephanie Davidson, Oliver Ring, Christopher Ring; and grandchildren, Gregg Ring III, Laura Davidson, Baker Britton, Melissa Davidson and Oliver Britton. Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from five o’clock in the afternoon until seven o’clock in the evening on Monday, the 9th of June, in the parlor and grand foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston. At a later date, the family is to gather for a private interment at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston. In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions in Mrs. Ring’s name be directed to the charity of one’s choice. She was a lady of traditional values, a devoted wife and mother who loved her family foremost. A dedicated researcher and writer she possessed a fierce work ethic, solid principles and deep convictions. She will be missed by many but survived by her extensive body of work of which she was very proud.
Mrs. Betty Ruth Ring
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July 1, 2014
My deepest sympathy in the loss of a very special lady who added a wealth of knowledge for all stitchers who have done needlework especially cross stitching. As a member of the Mayflower Sampler Guild, she has been a key figure to all needlewomen; the world has lost a very talented lady...
Irene M. Allie,Dighton,Massachusetts.
Deb M. Partain
June 30, 2014
It has been a thrill and honor to have met Betty Ring and discussed samplers, our families, and the work she has done on samplers. Her books are filled with such knowledge and to speak with her and listen to her and the knowledge and information that just flowed. What a gift and passion she had. Thank you Betty. My heart goes out with heart felt condolences to Betty's family and friends.
Penelope Middleton Darby
June 29, 2014
Such a knowledgeable lady, we will miss you so much in the sampler world
June 29, 2014
I am honored to have had the opportunity to meet Betty through her life's journey. She will always be an American needlework treasure to me. She was blessed, supported by family and friends and made the good things in life possible. Her enthusiasm, inspiration and legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of many. She will always be remembered.
June 18, 2014
Betty Ring inspired so many of us in the Needlework world. I have had the pleasure of being in many of her lectures and everyone paid intense attention to all the knowledge that she shared. She was a person who shared her knowledge both in books and in person. She will be sadly missed. My condolences to her family.
Jacqueline & Richard Holdsworth
June 17, 2014
Betty Ring was a huge inspiration to sampler lovers in the UK and to everyone at Needleprint publishing, which owes everything to the remarkable example and standard set by her. We give thanks for her life and offer our heartfelt condolences to her family.
June 16, 2014
I am so very sad to hear of Betty's death , and my thoughts and sincere condolence are with her family and friends . I will treasure my memories of and the friendship I shared with Betty always . The level of scholarship she attained and her generosity in sharing it with us all is indeed a gift for which many of us involved in the world of needlework and girlhood embroidery will be eternally grateful .With heartfelt thanks for all the advise , wisdom , fun and companionship on my trips across the pond !
Joyce & Bill Subjack
June 13, 2014
We feel very fortunate to have known Betty. Indeed, she was the one who inspired us in the pursuit of knowledge about schoolgirl needlework. God bless you and thank you, Betty. Our condolences to the family.
June 13, 2014
It is impossible to imagine what the world of sampler scholarship would be today without Betty's persistent dedication, rigorous research, inspired writing, and generous sharing. Deepest sympathy to the members of Betty's family and to her many friends and colleagues on behalf of the Sampler Consortium.
June 11, 2014
It was an honor to have known Betty . My conversations with her , and time she spent with me will forever be my most valued memories in the Sampler world . Her gift of knowledge , that she so freely gave to us all , will never be forgotten . My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. God Bless !
June 11, 2014
I had the privilege of meeting Betty at an event at Historic Williamsburg many years ago as well as a few others after that time and so enjoyed her and what she shared with the needlework community. My deepest sympathy to her family
Dan & Marty Campanelli
June 10, 2014
We were honored to have known Betty and learned much from her incredible scholarship regarding schoolgirl embroidery. Her work and her words will continue to guide us and other researchers in this field.
Stephen & Carol Huber
June 9, 2014
Betty, loved and known by all in the antiques world, was a dear friend and mentor and we cherish the wonderful times we had together. Betty was unfailingly gracious to all the thousands of people she met during her travels as "needlework expert extraordinaire". Always generously sharing her time and research, answering every inquiry and request, she was a marvel of energy and knowledge.
The massive amount of research she assembled was accomplished the old-fashioned way—by trekking to the area and spending countless hours buried in obscure libraries and historical societies scrolling through old newspapers and documents.
We are all; collectors, dealers, and museums in her debt for the enormous contribution she has made to the field of school girl needlework. Her publications, especially “Girlhood Embroidery”, will always be the underpinnings for the ever expanding research on both the subject of needlework itself and women's education in early America.
We will never forget Betty Ring's enthusiasm and generosity. She was one of the most talented, gracious and intelligent ladies we have ever met, a gem with many facets. And it is with heartfelt emotion that we remember her friendship.
Stephen & Carol Huber
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