Betty Crocker LeMay
August 19, 1941 – August 10, 2020
Betty Lou Upchurch, a devoted mother who worked on the railroad and in sales before embarking on a long career in law enforcement, died at her home in Bryan on Aug. 10. She put a lot of miles under her belt in nearly 79 years on earth.
Born in the Central Texas town of McGregor on Aug. 19, 1941, to Ina Lou and Trigg Upchurch, Betty Lou was a vivacious figure in an era she often recalled as something straight out of "American Graffiti.” The McGregor High Bulldog annuals of the late ‘50s provided plenty of photographic evidence – as a majorette, a Miss MHS, and a well-rounded and popular student. At home, she was little sister to TJ Upchurch and Doug Upchurch, both of whom preceded her in death.
After high school and a stint at business school in Waco, Betty joined the Santa Fe Railroad. She met and married Bill Crocker – yes, for nearly two decades she put up with Betty Crocker jokes – at the depot in Galveston, and they had a son on the island. The railroad took the family on a roundabout route to Houston, where she worked as a switchboard operator downtown. She and her son took many trips together on the Texas Chief between Houston and McGregor.
Betty sold World Book Encyclopedias in and around Pearland in the 1970s. After the marriage ended, Betty’s travels took her to Alvin, where she worked as a police dispatcher, following in the footsteps of her mother, Ina Lou, a longtime dispatcher for the McGregor Police Department. She moved to Austin and then to Round Rock, where she again worked at the PD.
But it was in Aggieland that Betty, by then Betty Crocker LeMay, would spend the biggest period of her life. She worked for College Station PD, again as a dispatcher, and then in her early 40s was accepted into the Police Academy. She joined the Texas A&M University Police Department as an officer. Over the next two decades, Betty chased a few bad guys, worked a lot of brutally hot football games and helped build the Crime Prevention unit with the same enthusiasm and boundless energy she applied to every other challenge life put before her.
Sgt. LeMay was most proud of the President’s Meritorious Service Award she received in 1999. It was also pretty cool that she had an Aggie Fish Camp named for her one year.
In Bryan, Betty met Mark Williamson, and those two had a lot of fun over many years either at home, on the road to Colorado, or prowling the Texas Hill Country. Mark was a source of invaluable assistance and comfort in the last few years as she struggled with illness.
Betty is survived by her son, Ronnie Crocker, and wife, Patricia Shepherd, of Houston, and a number of nieces and nephews who confided in her over the years. All are grateful for the time they spent together and the indelible imprint she left on their lives.
Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Cole Funeral Home, followed by a graveside funeral service at McGregor Cemetery at 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Betty Crocker LeMay
Carol Mayo Gregory Duron
August 29, 2020
We were good friends in McGregor.I remember going to her house and her singing. She had such a bubbly personality. Her brothers Doug and TJ would come to our house for my Uncle Jack to record them. I had been searching on FB to find her, but I didn’t know her last name. I remember what a sweet mother she had .. I got married young and left and never saw her again, I’m sad about that. She will always have a special place in my heart.Prayers go out to her family. Carol
August 19, 2020
Happy Birthday in Heaven.
Miss you and Love You forever..
August 13, 2020
Sorry for your loss. We were in school together at MHS.
Natishua Mote Brandt
August 12, 2020
It was my privilege during the 42 years I was employed at UPD to be there during the time your mom was employed. It was truly my honor to have the opportunity to work with her. She represented the very best in our profession. When she became part of the crime prevention unit it was pure joy to watch her interaction with students, staff, faculty or our community at large. Thank you for sharing her with us. I will always remember her contributions to the growth of the department and the establishment of a crime prevention unit that was a benchmark for others to emulate. Although, I will be unable to attend the memorial service your mom and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers
Elmer E. Schneider, Jr
Retired Chief of Police
Texas A&M University
August 11, 2020
Not only my aunt but my friend. We used to talk for hours sharing the silly things we did including big floppy hats, Gilleys and bull riding. Middle of the night giggles and often, prayers. For a long time what one didn't think of the other did. We loved our adventures, our careers, our family and each other.
Forever missed, forever loved.