Betty Lee Afflerbach

May 22, 1927January 10, 2013
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Betty Lee Afflerbach, a retired reference librarian for the Texas Medical Association in Austin, died January. 10, 2013, in Fort Worth as a result of Alzheimer’s disease. She was 85.

Betty was born in 1927 in Fabens, Texas, and spent her early childhood in nearby El Paso. She moved with her mother and stepfather, Elizabeth and Robert Witte, to Texas City in the early 1940s and graduated from Texas City High School. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1948 with a degree in English. A love of books and language was a lifelong passion.

She married Charles W. Afflerbach in 1949 and they lived for several years in Del Rio, where he worked for Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. They relocated to Corpus Christi in 1954 and moved with their eight children to Austin in 1968.

In 1969, Betty earned a master’s degree in library science from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. She joined the Texas Medical Association in Austin as a reference librarian in 1969 and eventually became director of the library, which researched medical topics for doctors across Texas in the era before the Internet. She retired from TMA in 1988.

In retirement, she continued her interest in books -- Southwest history, true crime, the Civil War and many other topics -- and in classic movies. In 1996, she and her husband, Charley, along with a handful of passengers, sailed on a cargo ship to Australia and New Zealand. They spent three months at sea, and the first thing Betty did aboard ship was organize its library. They also spent many weekends at their beloved rural getaway called “Twelve Mile” outside Smiley, Texas. Betty was widowed in 2005 and moved to the Fort Worth area in 2008.

Survivors: children Libby Afflerbach of Willow Park, Claire Poole (Leland) of South Bend, Indiana; Chuck Afflerbach (Carolina Juarez) of Oakland, California; Tom Afflerbach (Mary) of Austin; Fred Afflerbach (Diane) of Cedar Park; David Afflerbach (Susan) of Richland Hills; Jennifer Afflerbach (Lee Beckham) of Dallas, and Sister Maria of Divine Mercy, O.Carm. of Wahpeton, North Dakota; and brother, James Witte (Carol) of Carmine, Texas; 13 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A visitation and rosary will be at 6 p.m. Sunday at Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Funeral Home. Funeral mass will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 1101 W. New Hope Drive, Cedar Park.

Memorials may be made to the James L. West Alzheimer’s Center in Fort Worth ( or the Carmelite monastery at Carmel of Mary, 17765 78th S.E., Wahpeton, N.D., 58075.

To share memories of Betty with her family, please visit


  • Visitation Sunday, January 13, 2013
  • Rosary Service Sunday, January 13, 2013
  • Funeral Mass Monday, January 14, 2013

Betty Lee Afflerbach

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February 6, 2013

Your mom brings back so many fond memories. We missed her when she retired.You are all in my thoughts and prayers

February 1, 2013

To all the family,
May God peace be with you all at this sad time. I will keep you all in my prayers.

Rosanne from Houston, Texas ( friend of Sister Maria of Divine Mercy)

Adrianne Juarez Wagers

January 15, 2013

Dear Chuff, So sorry to hear of your Mother's passing. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers. She sounds like an amazing, accomplished woman, and strong in her faith. I hope you will all be comforted in the thought that she is now home in the arms of her Savior.

Becky Anderson and Jamie Cervetto

January 15, 2013

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Afflerbach family at this difficult time. We love Chuff and all the others we have had the pleasure of meeting and know that Betty must have been an amazing woman to have raised them.

Much love

January 15, 2013

Chuff, Chick and the whole Afflerbach family, Patt and I send our positive thoughts and prayers your way. We did not have the opportunity to meet your Mom, however judging by the the wonderful Afflerbach's we have met we are sure your Mom was a very positive influence on her family. Love, Art & Patt

Becky Mobley

January 14, 2013

Dear Chuff and family,
We are so sorry for the loss of your beloved Mother. She must have been an extraordinary woman, although I never had the pleasure of meeting her, knowing you and hearing some of your family's stories, you have indeed lost a treasure. We are all richer for your Mother's life. Much love, Becky and CJ

Andy Yemma

January 14, 2013

To my cousins Libby, Claire, Chuck, Tom, Fred, David, Jennifer and Sister Maria, Eileen and I send our love, thoughts and prayers. Betty was a wonderful person. I remember fondly the summer she spent with us in Austin while working on her masters degree. I miss the great times spent at your house in North Austin schmoozing with all of you. Andy Yemma

Pat and Byron Rathbun

January 13, 2013

We'll remember the chest of ice creams and the joy she had in sharing. She made us feel so welcome.

D'Ann Underwood-Santos

January 13, 2013

Jennifer, Joannie and family,

My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Celebrate your Mom's wonderful life and remember that she and your Dad are always with you.

Sandie Scarpa

January 13, 2013

Libby - Your mom was a dear person who always made me feel welcome. She was such a sport when we trekked all over Japan. I remember your parents being so kind to the Nakaseko's when they visited. We send our love to all. Sandie and John Scarpa, Lark and Jerry