Betty Mae Smith

February 6, 1921November 9, 2011

Betty Smith was born February 6, 1921 in Altoona, PA to Mary Gertrude Beard and Howard Samuel Jenkins. She entered rest on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at the age of 90. Betty graduated from Altoona High School in 1938 and enrolled in nurses training at Altoona Hospital where she graduated three years later on May 21, 1942. In November of 1956 she began her civil service career at Harlingen AFB where she was a court stenographer. When Harlingen Air Base closed in 1961 her husband was transferred to Randolph AFB here in San Antonio, where he eventually retired and she again worked in civil service. She was very quiet about her accomplishments over the years with her work with MIA and POW families. She grew very close to these families and them to her. She received many outstanding performance awards throughout her career and received a medal from the Department of the Air Force for Meritorious Civilian Work at her retirement in 1981. Although her department was physically located on Randolph AFB, her office worked directly under the Pentagon. During Betty’s career, she served under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and served for 37 days under President Ronald Reagan until her retirement on February 27, 1981 at the age of 60. She spent many of the early retirement years caring for her husband. Following his death, she became active in many organizations and volunteered many hours at Brooke Army Medical Center in the chaplains office and for the Fischer House. She was active in many organizations, including the Republican Party, attending state conventions, Precinct Chairman for many years, Bexar County Republican Women, secretary of her neighborhood association, Volunteer for San Pedro Playhouse, Social Chairman for NARFE, her Nurses Association, Business Women’s Association, Society of Military Widows, Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW and was a member of the Beitel Lutheran Church. There were other organizations and activities too numerous to mention. She gave back to the community, and most of her volunteer work began when she was 70 years old. Betty was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 46 years, Edward T. Smith. She is survived by her daughter Maryann Smith Tumlinson and her husband James; grandchildren, Betty Tumlinson, Jim Tumlinson and wife Christi, Brenda Tumlinson Harkness and husband Bill; great-grandchildren, Melissa Tumlinson Cawood and husband Ben, Josh Tumlinson and wife Laura, Jessica Tumlinson, Brittney Harkness Cohorn and husband Patrick and Brooklyn Rae Harkness; great, great-grandchildren, 5 year old twins, Victoria and Kayleigh Cawood, 2 year old Halle Noel Cohorn and 1 year old Connor James Cawood; and many dear friends. Visitation will be held on Sunday, November 20, 2011 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm at Sunset Funeral Home. Funeral Service will be held on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 10:00am, at Beitel Lutheran Church, 2515 Austin Highway, San Antonio, TX 78218, with burial to follow at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Beitel Lutheran Church. You are invited to offer condolences at


  • Visitation Sunday, November 20, 2011
  • Funeral Service Monday, November 21, 2011

Betty Mae Smith

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Nancy Crawford

November 19, 2011

Maryann...I lift you and your family up in prayer during your time of grief. May the memories that only a Mother can leave give you comfort in the following days.. Nancy Crawford

Betty Ann Tumlinson

November 18, 2011

Big Mommie,

I miss you! I'm so blessed to have been your granddaughter! When I think of you, I have happy memories and I smile. Your deep love for God, America, your family, the Military, Pennsylvania, animals, traveling and dining out are etched in my heart. And you loved to spoil your grandkids with trips to Kiddie City, where we could get any toy/s we wanted. You were always so very generous and it didn't even have to be Christmas or a birthday. It was every time you saw us! Geez, we must have cost you a small fortune! But what great memories we have! You and Big Daddy even got a time share so that we could travel to different places and have fun every year for mom's birthday. Speaking of mom---you raised one of the world's best mothers! She's a lot like you; Beautiful, Smart, Loyal, Kind, Gentle, Generous, Hard Working, Faithful, Loving and what a Brilliant Sense of Humor! Thanks for the memories, Biggies...I love you, I miss you. I'm so glad it's just temporary. I will see you again, and when it's my time to "go", I want you to come get me.

I Love you,

November 17, 2011

Betty, You are the first American that I met when I arrived in San Antonio from the Phiippines in1974. I love you, for all the things that you've done for me.. You were always kind and caring towards me.. I really enjoyed my times with you and Eddie very much, and thank you for being helpful to us.during our stay in San Antonio. I Remember our Trailer, and the new car that you co-signed for us because we were just starting out and had no credit. Tracy and Shawn were so happy, whenever you came to visit us. Also, I remember the12 Duck Eggs, Eddie, told me to pick them up from the nest in our yard and cook them.. Betty,, I love you and miss you very, very much.. We will meet again.

Mercy Porta.

November 17, 2011

God Rest Your Soul Aunt Betty..
Both You and Eddie had a profound influence in my life..
It seems just like the other day that You and Uncle Eddie would drive up from DC with a car load full of Christmas Presents for my 2 Sisters and myself.. I also remember fondly the time that You and Eddie took us over to Andrews AFB when we came to visit, I was 4 years old, and Eddie put me in the copilots seat and we taxied around the ramp in a C-47.. I knew at that point that I wanted to go into go into the Air Force..16 years later I enlisted and stayed for 22 years..Following Your lead, after the USAF, I too hired on with Civil Service and worked in Washington DC for another 16 years at the White House.. I owe you so, so much!!

I will see you again in Heaven!
Rest in peace..
I'll always love you..

Mike Porta
Aurora Colorado

November 17, 2011

Mother, I love you and I miss you so much. Maryann

Patricia Tumlinson

November 12, 2011

Our prayers are with your family. Betty was such a sweet, gentle,loving person to those who were honored to know her.


Pat and Billy