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.
Also, a note posted on Dad’s Obituary Webpage, https://www.gormanscharpf.com/guestbook/col-billy-lord
“Chaplain Lord was such an inspiration to me, and an amazing example of what we should all aspire to be. I first met Bill at a 1st Cavalry reunion in Colorado Springs. That day he met with Ellis for the first time since Vietnam. Neither man was sure that the other made it home. Chaplain Lord had last seen him as he held his head together with both hands while loading him on a medivac chopper. Getting to see these wonderful men see each other for the first time and wordlessly embrace flooded the room with thankful tears. I knew that I was in the presence of the Lord. And the other one too! I am so thankful that I got to know Bill and Bettye. My sincere condolences to the family and friends. We all have lost a dear friend, but I am happy that he is rejoicing in Paradise. He has earned it. Well done, Chaplain Lord, and welcome Home.“
It is with sadness and joy I share that Darlene’s Father, Chaplain (Colonel) Billy R. Lord, died Friday, October 15th . We are sad that he is no longer with us but overjoyed that he is in heaven with Jesus, family members who proceeded him, his comrades in arms, and those whom he introduced to Jesus as a man of God, Minister, and Army Chaplain.
This moment, Dad baptizing a fellow Soldier in the la Drang River, South Vietnam in 1966, speaks volumes of Dad’s love for God and Soldiers. Imagine with me how this man’s life was transformed because Dad helped him publicly, all be it in a combat zone, proclaim his faith in Jesus.
Also, imagine the ripple effect of all the people this man also loved and shared how much God loved them. This man is one of the thousands Dad loved and helped to know “The Good Lord.”
“To some, I’m just another jumpmaster…and that’s fine. I’m happy to serve them. But to others, I’m also their priest, their “Padre,” who leads them from earth to heaven and back down to earth again in more ways than one.” Chaplain Peter Pomposello
I will not attempt to share the thoughts and feelings of Bettye, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, other family members, comrades in arms, and friends, but I am honored and blessed for him to call me Son and he is Dad to me.
We love you Dad and salute you, Colonel, you did good!!!
Rev. Michael J. Weiss, Sr.
Sergeant Major, U.S. Army Retired
Services for Dad: Memorial Service
Thursday, October 21 st , 12:30 pm (1230 hours)
Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home, Springfield, Missouri
Obituary – Colonel Billy Lord
Military Honors at Graveside
Thursday, October 21st, 2 pm (1400 hours)
Missouri State Veterans Cemetery, Springfield, Missouri