OBITUARY

Betty Jean Simmons

September 24, 1946June 8, 2018
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LIFE REFLECTIONS of BETTY J. (JOHNSON) SIMMONS

Betty J. (Johnson) Simmons was born on September 24, 1946, in Chicago Heights, IL to Walter Sr. and Essie Johnson.

Betty served in the United States Army from 1974-1994 in Italy, Germany, Korea and Texas. She ended her career as an E7 Sergeant First Class. Betty earned various metals and ribbons during her career. She went on to work for the VA Hospital from 1995 until she retired in April 30, 2014. Betty enjoyed the gift of life during her time here. Her passion was playing bingo with friends and traveling by cruise ship with friends and family. She also enjoyed working numbers for the lottery and football pools. Watching football and reading a good book were her favorite pastimes.

She leaves to cherish her memory: her daughter, Reva (Tracy) McGrew from Killeen, TX and her son Benny Jr. (J.R.) Simmons; Three brothers Walter Jr. Johnson, Leo Johnson and Earl (Jody) Johnson; One sister Elizabeth (Arzell) Moore; Three grandchildren, Trae, Zakariah, and Ashari and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She also leaves special cousin, Florence Brooks and special friends Sue Brown, Sharon Whitehead and Elizabeth (Liz) Martin. Betty passed on in her home on June 8, 2018 to be with the Lord. Preceding her in death were her parents and three brothers, Albert, Gregory, and Ricky.

Betty will always be remembered as a beloved member of her community as she remains in the hearts of those she encountered.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11:30 am Thursday 6/24 at Crawford-Bowers, Killeen. A funeral procession will carry Betty to her final resting place at The Central Texas State Veteran's Cemetery. A reception will follow inurnment at the funeral home.

Somewhere in my heart beneath all my grief and pain, Is a smile I still wear at the sound of your dear name. The precious word is ‘MOTHER’, she was my world you see, But now my heart is breaking cause she’s no longer here with me. God chose her for His angel to watch me from above, To guide me and advise me and know that I’m still loved. The day she had to leave me when her life on earth was through, God had better plans for her, for this, I surely knew. When I think of her kind heart and all those loving years, My memories surround me and I can’t hold back the tears. She truly was my best friend, someone I could confide in, She always had a tender touch and a warm and gentle grin. I want to thank you Mother for teaching me so well, And though the time has come that I must bid you this farewell. I’ll remember all you’ve taught me and make you proud you’ll see. Thank you my Dear Mother for all the love you showed me. Although you’ve left this earth and now you’ve taken flight, I know that you are here with me each morning, noon and night. Love, Reva

  • FAMILY

  • She leaves to cherish her memory: her daughter, Reva (Tracy) McGrew from Killeen, TX and her son Benny Jr. (J.R.) Simmons; Three brothers Walter Jr. Johnson, Leo Johnson and Earl (Jody) Johnson; One sister Elizabeth (Arzell) Moore; Three grandchildren, Trae, Zakariah, and Ashari and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She also leaves special cousin, Florence Brooks and special friends Sue Brown, Sharon Whitehead and Elizabeth (Liz) Martin.
    Betty passed on in her home on June 8, 2018 to be with the Lord. Preceding her in death were her parents and three brothers, Albert, Gregory, and Ricky.

Services

  • Celebration of Life Friday, July 6, 2018
REMEMBERING

Betty Jean Simmons

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Roy L. Anderson

June 21, 2018

My heartfelt condolences to the family of Betty Jean Simmons. She and I worked together for many years at the Temple, TX VA Hospital, and though we both had retired from there, I kept in touch with her regularly once the NFL football season began (a faithful player in her football pools). Betty will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her; my prayers are with you all.

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Biography

      When someone is identified as a natural leader, certain images come to mind. First thoughts are of a no-nonsense, tough-minded, dedicated and disciplined person. This description accurately fits Betty Jean Simmons who was indeed a born manager. She will be remembered as being highly organized, practical and realistic. She was a person who always carried a strong sense of duty with her throughout her life. Possessed with traditional “old school” morals, Betty was an individual who clearly communicated to those around her just who she was and what she was all about. Everyone acquainted with Betty knew her as a well-respected woman who was a stable force in her community.

      Betty was born on September 24, 1946 at St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights, Illinois. Her parents were Walter and Essie Johnson. Betty was raised in Chicago Heights, Illinois. Even as a youngster, Betty learned to be objective and decisive. Her faith in the principles of authority and dependability was something that she carried with her throughout her life.

      As a young girl, Betty was able to put her natural abilities to work. She was a bit like the sergeant of the family, helping to make sure that the others did what they should do and that they avoided those things they weren’t supposed to. In other words, she liked to organize and direct. Betty was raised with seven siblings. She had six brothers and one sister: Walter, Jr, Leo, Albert, Gregory, Elizabeth, Ricky and Earl. Betty had an inborn appreciation for the order in the family, allowing for the oldest members to be the most respected and to take on the most responsibility. For Betty, this was a natural order of life, one she gladly embraced.

      In school, Betty was as close to being a model student as one could possibly imagine. She sought to achieve perfect attendance in all of her classes. She would eagerly complete her homework, and often put in extra study time when she felt it was necessary. A logical and focused thinker, Betty was always good at following directions and meeting her schedules, whether they were set by her teachers or were self-imposed. Betty’s personal motto could well have been, “Do it right the first time.” She graduated from Bloom Township High School in 1964. She enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers.

      Betty was sociable and approachable. Because she was always so straightforward in how she approached relationships, friends and family knew that what they saw was always what they got. She enjoyed the camaraderie of being with a group of friends. When Betty was a member of a group, her interaction worked to keep the others grounded. She wasn’t afraid to confront her friends and, when necessary, she challenged them to stick to the task at hand. Those close to Betty came to expect her high standards of performance. While growing up, some of her best friends were Florence, Dot, Rosemary, Thelma, Matteen, and Duck. Later in life, she became friends with Florence, her cousin.

      Betty was ever watchful of her children. She worried about them and was deeply concerned for their development as they grew up. She maintained a firm hand in their upbringing. Betty would give her stamp of approval to their requests, as long as she could see how they might benefit. She also had the ability to enforce the rules as needed to ensure that her children were properly raised. Betty was blessed with two children, one daughter, Rena and one son, Benny, Jr. She was also blessed with three grandchildren, Trae, Zakariah and Ashari.

      Being a hard worker who praised efficiency, Betty was always striving to make improvements where they were necessary. She was able to analyze situations and problems, keeping everything and everyone on track. An excellent project supervisor, Betty was a person who could quickly make decisions based on the information available. She worked cooperatively and expected the same from her colleagues. In both her personal and professional environments, Betty upheld her standards. Her primary occupation was serving in the military. Betty was a team player who certainly lived out the motto of “give me a job, and I will get it done.”

      Betty was an Army veteran. Her sense of duty helped lead her into the military where her understanding of rank, her willingness to abide by rules and regulations and her desire to follow orders was admired by her fellow service men and women. She was in the countries of Italy, Germany and Korea and in Fort Sam Houston and Fort Hood in Texas. Through her hard work and dedication, she achieved the rank of E-7, Sergeant First class. She received several awards recognizing her for her heroism, including a Army Good Conduct Medal, Sharpshooter Marksmanship, Expert Field Medical Badge, Overseas Service ribbon.

      Betty approached her leisure time in the same manner that she approached her life. A person who enjoyed being neat and orderly and one who understood the nature of things, she appreciated the hours she was able to devote to her various hobbies. Her favorite pursuits were playing Bingo, cruising, playing cards, watching football and football pool. Betty was content to enjoy her favorite pastimes alone but was also willing to share her interests with others.

      Playing by the rules was a natural thing for Betty to do in life and that carried over to her enjoyment of sports. She also was something of a sports fan and enjoyed watching her favorite events whenever she got the opportunity. Tops on her list was football.

      When it came time to travel or take a vacation, Betty used her scheduling expertise to make sure everyone and everything was ready to go. That also meant that she made certain no single person was overworked in putting the trip together. Betty had a knack for making sure that everyone who was involved had their specific tasks and that those tasks were completed. Favorite vacations included cruises and going to Las Vegas.

      Betty was a lover of animals and cherished her pets. One of Betty’s favorites was She had a hunting dog named, Blue, as a child.

      When Betty’s retirement finally arrived in United States Army in 1994 and the VA Hospital in 2014, she was well prepared. She used her critical evaluation skills to make sure that every detail had been preplanned and attended to. Her new life involved relocating to VA Hospital. In retirement, she found new pleasure in goiing to the office and playing her lottery. In many ways, Betty loved retirement. It provided her with the opportunity to catch up with her friends, attend functions and group outings, and tackle new interesting activities.

       She is survived by her children, Rena and Benny, Jr.; her grandchildren, Trae, Zakariah, and Ashari; her brothers, Walter Jr., Leo, Earl and her sister, Elizabeth. Services were held at Crawford Bowers Funeral Home in Killeen, Texas. Betty was laid to rest in the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery.

      All who knew her would agree that Betty was a pillar of the community. She lived her life with her feet firmly on the ground. She had a strong work ethic, was pragmatic in her thoughts and acts, and constantly sought the means for self-improvement. She was willing to share her ideas and knowledge for the benefit of others, so that they could accomplish more in their lives. Betty Jean Simmons did her best to ensure that her family, friends, loved ones, co-workers, and everyone whose life she touched was given the chance to become a better person.