Joel M. Betts

December 12, 1937March 5, 2015

Joel Betts, 77 of Myakka Florida, beloved husband and best friend of Marilyn Funderburk Betts for fifty-four years, passed away peacefully surrounded by the ones he loved and lived for on March 5, 2015. As a child he spent his youth hunting and exploring the wilderness of Florida. After spending 4 years in the US Navy Joel went on to become Assistant Director and chief helicopter pilot for Manatee County Mosquito Control. Joel was a skilled carpenter and builder, constructing the house that he and Marilyn have lived in for the past 15 years. Joel was an artist, musician, and thoughtful storyteller, which led him to author a great western novel that he took great pride in. Another of Joel's many talents led him to be featured in Mechanix Illustrated for developing an amphibious all-terrain vehicle that would navigate the marsh lands of Florida. Although Joel's talents were many, his greatest accomplishment was how he lived as a husband, father and wise mentor not only to his family but to all he came to know and love. Joel is survived by his beautiful wife Marilyn Funderburk Betts, daughter Mischelle Gray and son in-law Chris Gray, son Troy Betts and daughter in-law Carrie Betts, grandchildren Candace Wiant and husband Donald Wiant, Sarah Owen and partner James Jones, Emily Owen, Jeremy Gray and wife Laura and Christopher Gray, Trinity Betts, Joel Betts II and great granddaughter Olivia Owen, brother Dickey Betts and wife Donna Betts, sister Pam Armstrong and husband Bud Armstrong, along with numerous nieces and nephews. Rest in the arms of our loving Savior Papa, we love you and you will always be with us. We are so thankful for your life well lived. In lieu of flowers please consider your favorite charity. A graveside service will be held on Mon. Mar. 9, 2015 at 12:30 pm at Old Myakka Cemetery, 1620 Myakka Rd., Sarasota, FL 34240


  • Graveside service will be held on Mon. Mar. 9, 2015 at 12:30 pm at Old Myakka Cemetery, 1620 Myakka Rd., Sarasota, FL 34240

Joel M. Betts

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jack Jalove

December 30, 2015

I never met Mr. Joel Betts, only know of the man by his kid brother being a music hero of mine (and so many others of course.) And forgive me that I only heard the sad news reading Dickey's web site.

But any man who serves his country, pilots a helicopter, knows the building trade, and raises a family, as I've now learned that Dickey Betts' older bro did, is himself a hero & of even more admirable attributes - military service, aviation skill, working with your hands, & of course the most important, fatherdom.

The family portrait photograph shared by one of the others leaving a message here, shows a man in full - one at ease with himself & proud of his place well earned in this world. We should all be so fortunate. Peace.

Mickey (a fan)

November 12, 2015

To Dickey & Donna: I would like to express my sincerest condolences in the passing of Joel.

Rachel Wray

April 8, 2015

So sorry to hear of Joels passing and this huge loss for the family.
May your grief giveway to the joys of the wonderful memories made through the years as a family. Rest in Peace.

Carla Lambert

March 18, 2015

Wishing you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your heart. Our hearts are full with you.

Andy Aledort

March 16, 2015

So very sorry to hear this tragic news. Our deepest condolences go out to Dickey and Donna and the Betts family.

March 10, 2015

March 10, 2015

I have known Mr. Joel and Mrs. Marilyn for many ,many years I can remember sitting in the beauty shop while Mom got her hair done. Mr. Joel was quiet the information guy ,I had went by there one day to ask him about what kind of arrows he and Dickey used for hunting. He said well I really can't tell ya ,but come here I'll show you what we do. After we did our thing with that in the garage . I looked in the next one and asked ( IS THAT A AIRPLANE SITTIN IN THERE?)) How are you gonna get that thing outta here ? He said don't know yet I'm still workin on it.He let me as a young man sit in on drums at one of the partys at Uncle Johns one night and I thought that was the greatest thing that ever happened. To all the Betts family I offer our condolences and heart felt sympathy. This Life is catching up to us, cherish every waking minute with Loved ones. God Bless you all. Dan Griffin and family

Jim Dorman

March 10, 2015

My condolences to the Betts family.

Robert & Ginger Eib

March 10, 2015

Dear Marilyn and Family, Our thoughts and Prayers are with you. May God comfort you and ease your pain.

Patricia Fulghum

March 10, 2015

May our Lord comfort and strengthen the Betts family and all those who will miss him now and throughout their lives. I have a feeling that my own father who quite recently went ahead of Joel may well have a lot of questions about that related Armstrong name since his paternal grandmother was an Armstrong with interesting family history. I hope to meet him on the Other Side myself when the good Lord sends his band of angels to carry me Home. Peace, Pat