Elizabeth "Betsy" Smith
November 25, 1943 – July 23, 2020
Elizabeth Ruth Brown Smith, passed away on Thursday, the 23rd of July 2020. She was 76 years of age. “Betsy” as she was better known by family and friends was born in New Orleans, LA on the 25th of November 1943, to William Russell Brown and Ruth Cunningham Brown both originally from Mississippi. Upon moving to Houston, Betsy attended Kinkaid school and graduated from Lamar High School in 1961. Betsy went on to Sullins Junior College in Bristol, Virginia and finished her college education at the University of Texas in 1966 where she got her degree in Elementary Education and was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She was presented as an Allegro Debutante in 1964. After college she returned to Houston to teach for HISD as a first grade teacher.
She married Thomas Masterson Smith in 1968 before moving overseas first to Paris and then eventually settling in Surrey, England where they raised their children Kristen Smith Barker and Russell Masterson Smith. In England she cultivated her love of antiques and eventually owned her own antique store in Gstaad, Switzerland. Betsy was a good painter and her greatest passion was working with children teaching them arts and crafts where she was better known by her students as “Miss Betsy”! She was a member of the Forest Club and worked with the children during the summer camps. Betsy went on to teach at the Mad Potter studio for many years and also taught at the Parish School and at St. Francis School as a substitute teacher. Neighborhood kids would often wonder up her driveway to her arts and crafts room and she’d always welcome them.
Her friends remember her as the life of the party who always took center stage telling her crazy stories of her times living overseas. She had a wonderful spirit and everyone loved her. She is survived by her sister, Virginia Lee Brown; brother, William Russell Brown, Jr and his wife Deborah. Her greatest pride and joy were her children and grandchildren, her daughter Kristen Smith Barker, her husband Matthew and their children Kelsey and Rachel Barker and her son Russell Masterson Smith, his wife Nancy and their children Ellis and Wesley Smith.
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 Friday, the 31st of July, in the library and grand foyer of Geo H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston. The family has produced a video slideshow which accessible by clicking here: https://youtu.be/gWxXz4rlCHM
In light of the current situation, a private interment is to be conducted at ten o’clock in the morning on Saturday, the 1st of August, at Forest Park Lawndale in Houston. Guests are invited to view the service via Facebook Live stream with the link to be posted below. Please click "Join Livestream" to be directed to Betsy's Facebook event page to join the stream at the time of the service.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions may be directed to The Parish School, 11001 Hammerly Blvd, Houston, Texas 77043 or by visiting parishschool.org
Visitation with the Family
Friday, July 31, 2020
Private Family/Public Virtual Interment
Saturday, August 1, 2020
Elizabeth "Betsy" Smith
have a memory or condolence to add?ADD A MEMORY
August 2, 2020
Kristen and Russell-
We have such fond memories of Betsy and will miss her. She brought smiles and laughs to everyone she encountered. Our prayers go out to you and your family.
Neill, Kathi, Taylor and Caroline Masterson
July 30, 2020
We’d like to invite you to view a wonderful tribute created by my daughter Kelsey for my mom at:
You can copy and paste the link onto the YouTube website.
Thank you to everyone for reaching out with your condolences, kind words and funny stories. We will miss mom more than words can say but know she’s in a better place and at peace.
Elizabeth Ward (Peña)
July 29, 2020
I was 13-14 and going to TASIS when I became friends with Russell. I think back fondly of times spent with his family, hanging out and having fun. It was a welcome respite from the rigors of being a boarding student. Thank you for inviting me into your home, treating me to delicious home cooked meals, and being such a wonderful caring person. My parents were so much further away and being at your home gave me a little taste of a normal home life again. I will always cherish those memories. You were a beautiful soul., and you raised an amazing family.