Last night my sister and I went to Moore’s Funeral Home to pay our respects to Mr. Betts. He was a lifelong friend of my mother’s, they started in Kindergarten together, and remained close until she died. He was my father’s friend and golfing buddy. He was kind, smart, honorable, and fun.
He bought season tickets behind my father’s season tickets at the University of Tulsa Football games. Don and Amy. Roy and Ellen.
My sister and I joked with each other after the passing of my father, that Mr. Betts was the only man we would consider for my mother. His wonderful wife Amy died of Alzheimer’s shortly after my Dad’s passing. Luckily, Mr. Betts found love again, and at the age of 80 he married his second wife.
He was a kind man. He had two daughters. My father had two daughters. I remember once when I was allowed to play golf with my Dad’s golf group and a young girl was at the driving range and wanted to play. Two of the other men in the group were already unhappy that I was joining them, but Dad and Mr. Betts told her she was welcome and could make our group a foursome. The other two men went off in their cart unhappy that now TWO girls were playing with them. Granted, I wasn’t anywhere near as good as some of these men but I could hold my own. The girl said she would use the men’s tees not to hold anyone up. Unfortunately for me this meant I had to woman up and use the men’s tees as well. Being chivalrous, my father and Mr. Betts allowed the “girls” to go first. She tee’d off and crushed the ball. Come to find out, she was a player on the University of Tulsa Golf team….she crushed all of us. It was the best thing. Mr. Betts and my Dad thought it was awesome. They had no trouble with ANYONE beating them. I always loved that about my Dad, and admired it about Mr. Betts. It was the kind of man he was:
Donald John Betts passed away Saturday, November 12 at the age of 85. He was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Virginia May and George Philip Betts. He graduated from Will Rogers High School and then joined the US Air Force after graduation. Don married his high school sweetheart, Alma Lu “Amy” Vaughan in 1945. He attended Spartan School of Aeronautics. They then moved to Ft. Worth, Texas in 1946 where he worked at Convair as a mechanic building B-36’s. Their daughter Sandra was born in 1948 and they moved back to Tulsa in 1950. Ann, their second daughter was born in 1951. Don worked for Moorelane Company as a salesman until 1960, and then he went to work for Bartolina Manufacturing Company until 1967. That year he and two others started their own company, FABWELL Corporation. His wife, Amy, was the bookkeeper for the Company. Don retired from FABWELL in 1990 to travel and spend more time with Amy, who passed away in 2002. In November 2006, he married Hilda Knox. They just celebrated their fifth anniversary. He is survived by daughter Sandra and husband David Pease. His daughter Ann and husband Rickey Walker. Grandson Bryan Pease and his wife Kristy have three daughters, Mackenzie, Taylor and Macy. Granddaughter Jennifer Pease Harper and husband Phil Harper, their three children, Holly, Abby and Sean. His wife Hilda and two sons, Dr. Michal Knox, D.M., his wife Joan, four children, Lauren, Lisa, Lindsey and Michael, Dr. Allen Knox, D.V.M, wife Cindy and his daughter Hannah. Don had a large circle of friends from his business days, his golfing buddies and the fellowship from his church friends from both Trinity United Methodist and First Christian Church. He enjoyed being involved with the community. He served as a Tulsa Junior Achievement leader and was a long time member of the Tulsa Area Manufacturers and also served as president. He was on the board of Directors of the Oklahoma Alzheimer’s Association from 2000-2008. Don had served on the board of Trustees at St. Simeon’s from 2003-2011. Don was a person who was so grateful for his family and friends throughout his life. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Amy and so many of his friends. His long life was filled with many blessings. He was a man who was loved and will be greatly missed. Friends and family are invited to attend a viewing Tuesday evening from 6:00-8:00pm at Moore’s Southlawn. A Memorial Service will be held Wednesday, 11:00 am at First Christian Church, Tulsa. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Simeon’s Episcopal Home or Saint Francis Hospice. Moore’s Southlawn 663-2233, share memories at http://www.moorefuneral.com
We were blessed to have him in our lives as a good friend to my parents and an honorable man.