Betty Carpenter Nethery died on July 16, 2021. Elizabeth Ann Carpenter was born to Mary Lorine Morriss Carpenter and James Warren Carpenter on April 24, 1931. She grew up in Junction, but spent much time in Edwards, Kerr and Bandera counties on her grandparents’ ranches. She was preceded in death by her husband, Wilburn Nethery.
Betty graduated Junction High School in three years and followed her older sister, Mary Logan Carpenter, to Baylor University, often traveling by train much of the way. She was in the Baylor Band one year, on the Debate Team, and in the Honors English Class. Betty made lifelong friendships there. She graduated, also in three years, with a double major in English and Spanish. She was an accomplished poet and could recite from memory the great English poets. During summers, she taught riding lessons at Camp Mystic.
Betty returned home, met, and subsequently married George Wilburn Nethery in 1951. She taught science classes and English as a second language, as well as coaching girls’ sports for three years.
Betty was a gardener’s gardener from an early age, working in her family’s Victory Garden at the house in which she was born at the corner of Oak and 11th Streets in Junction. She had two large gardens at the ranch, numerous peach tree varieties, and a number of Black African fig trees Wilburn got from a friend in Brady. Feeding her family and countless friends produce from her garden brought her much joy as did her pleasure in growing cut flowers to give to friends and for the church altar every Sunday. She developed the L.J.O.E. Jalapeño (largest jalapeño on earth) with Dr. Jerry Parsons, horticulturalist. She was interviewed by Southern Living Magazine in the 1970s about her tomatoes that she sold at Telegraph Store.
Betty was a charter member of the Leti Study Club and rarely missed a meeting. She was a member of the Trinity Episcopal Guild. She was also a member of the Texas Cowbells, a group of women ranchers promoting Texas beef. Betty became a certified Master Naturalist after the death of her husband Wilburn in 2006.
Betty had an uncanny memory for both British and Texas history and recounted stories of generations of families across the state. She always remembered the birthdays not only of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, but also of her nieces, nephews, and their children. She loved letting children get to know her garden and teaching them lifelong skills. She started the River Rock Garden at 159 N. 17th, creating the first Classroom Garden in Kimble County.
The foundation and center of Betty’s life was unquestionably her deep faith in Jesus Christ. She invited Him into her life as Lord and Savior at an early age, and the great transaction in her soul became a “Spring of Living Water” that refreshed many many thirsty souls along the way of her pilgrimage. When reference was made of the many friends and family she would see in Heaven, she quickly said that the first thing she wanted to do there was bow at the feet of Jesus and worship Him… then all those other joys ...
Betty is survived by children Mollie (Dennis), Martha (Kenny), Margaret (Jeff), and Mary; grandchildren, Dennis (Cassie), Walter (Amber), Collin (Whitney), Joe, and James; great grandchildren Jacob, Jonathan, Joshua, Aizley, George, Amelia, and Hudson; and numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends. Betty’s surviving siblings are Dr. Robert Carpenter (Carolena), Sue Baugh (Don), and Carol Hoffman (Bob Al).
Visitation will be at Kimble Funeral home from 4-6:00 p.m. on Friday, July 23, 1010 College Street, Junction, TX. Burial service will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1119 Main Street, Junction, TX 76849. Interment will be held privately following the service.
In lieu of flowers and food, please consider a donation to the Trinity Episcopal Memorial Fund; Kimble County EMS; or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
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