Bettye Sue Ellis Lord, age 86, of Springfield, MO passed away Saturday, May 14, 2022, in her home, after a prolonged illness. Born in Springfield, TN on August 4, 1935, to Hershel Reeves Ellis and Alma Modene (Nichols) Ellis, Bettye lived in Tennessee until she flew to Germany to marry a soldier she met in church in Clarksville. Billy Riece Lord and Bettye married on January 4, 1957, in Augsburg, Germany. Together they had three children: Patrick, born in Augsburg, Germany, Darlene, born in Nashville, Tennessee, and William, born in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Bettye lived a life of service as a military spouse and Chaplain’s wife. She unabashedly shared her intellect, skills, talents, passions, and faith to improve the circumstances and support all people in her circle, and she had a wide circle, indeed. She was dedicated to her family, raising her children often “geographically single,” as Bill’s military career led him to three tours in Viet Nam. Bettye creatively nurtured her children to cultivate their own interests and talents, while instilling in them the importance of serving others. As a role model, she was unequaled in that regard.
Bettye valued education, and while raising her family, earned a Bachelor’s and two Master’s degrees. She was a teacher, trainer, and counselor. Upon his retirement from the Army in 1984, Bill and Bettye created and managed a Leadership Training firm providing services to Fortune 500 companies in Europe. Retiring (again) to Springfield, MO in 2000, Bill and Bettye resided in the Elfindale community.
Bettye was an artist of varied genres. She sketched, painted, and was superior at needle arts. She could (and often would) create costumes or formals or any kind of clothing from just a verbal description of what someone (usually Billy, but often, Darlene) said it could look like. She was a wonderful cook and enjoyed experimenting with new cuisines from all over the world. Bettye was adventurous and willing to try new activities, such as river rafting, panning for gold, or skiing the Alps, which helped make the family’s frequent moves both educational and fun.
Perhaps Bettye’s greatest talent was caring for others. Before her illness, Bettye worked diligently to meet the needs of the people around her. Whether it was providing a meal, cleaning a home, loaning a car, taking a walk, counseling, or assisting in navigating complex social systems, nothing was too small or large for her to do to help others. She educated, elevated, and empowered women and children to become strong and courageous.
Bettye Lord, is survived by her three children, Patrick Lord of Springfield, MO, Darlene Weiss and husband Michael of Springfield, MO and William Lord of Zandvoort aan Zee, Netherlands; four grandchildren, Susie Gray and husband Ike of Manitou Springs, CO, Evan Lord and wife Hanna of Springfield, MO, Michael J. Weiss and wife Elizabeth of Columbia, MO, Erica Ballard and husband Jimmy of Springfield, MO; and nine great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, Hershel and Alma Ellis, of Springfield, TN, brother Bobby Ellis, of Paris, TN, her husband, Bill Lord, of Springfield, MO, and a nephew, Phil Ellis, of Los Angeles, CA.
A Memorial Service was held Friday, May 27, 2022, at Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home. Burial followed at Missouri Veterans Cemetery, Springfield, MO. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Sutton In-Home Senior Care, and Haven Hospice.