Betty Jo Newton (Wright) Neal (1930 - 2014)

Obituary
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  • "May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow."
    - Etta Butler
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Betty Jo Neal ANTON-It is with sadness that we must announce the passing of a sweet Texan lady who was a patient teacher, good friend, and loving mother. Betty Jo (Wright) (Newton) Neal was born on Feb. 3, 1930, in Anton, Texas, and finished her life on May 4, 2014, in Austin, Texas, after a brief illness. She was happiest when fussing over her grandkids or reading a book from the library. She loved crispy tacos, fried okra, and the hamburger steak at Threadgill's restaurant. Her inner grit was overlaid with a blanket of kindness and praise for every child she met. Betty was the second child of Henry Olive and Mary Jo (Van Dyke) Wright. Along with her older sister, Joyce and their little brother, Howard, Betty grew up in the small farming town of Anton, Texas. In high school she was a popular all around girl who played basketball and was valedictorian of her graduating class. She majored in Journalism at Texas Tech where she was the editor of The Toreador newspaper. After graduating in 1951, she worked as a freelance magazine writer before marrying Madison Newton. The couple lived on his family's farm while she taught school for three years before welcoming their daughter, Kimberly and son, Monty. She was happy as a mom, and loved singing in the choir at the Methodist church, but her town also needed her as a teacher. Betty, the school principal begged We're supposed to integrate the school and none of the other teachers want the new kids in their classes. Will you take them? Of course she would! When Project Head Start was launched, she jumped at the chance to teach preschoolers and then found time to teach reading to adults as well. While teaching elementary school in Anton during the 1960's, she returned to Texas Tech and earned a Master's degree in Education. She moved to Amarillo in 1975 and taught at River Road High School until she retired. She loved working with the yearbook and newspaper kids and appreciated her co-workers. Following the death of her second husband, Guy Neal, Betty moved to Austin in 2005. There she made a good life right next door to Monty and his family. Her daily trips included grocery shopping and the public library where the friendly librarians recommended good books. Nestled into her bright blue house in Central Austin, Betty drove herself everywhere, and remained independent and busy until the end of her life. Betty leaves behind her daughter, Kimberly Kay Hunter, and her son and daughter-in-law, Monty and Nell Newton. Her grandchildren, Ian Hunter, Henry Newton, and Lulu Newton will always remember her bubbling pride in them. We are thankful to so many people who welcomed Betty to Austin. The doctors and staff at Jefferson Street Family Practice, the wonderful stylists at the North Loop Hair salon, and the librarians at the Yarbrough branch of the Austin Public Library all helped to make Austin her home. If you would like to honor Betty's achievements, please do so by taking the time to thank any teachers who have made a difference in your life. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 13, at the First United Methodist Church of Anton, Texas. A celebration of Betty's life will be held in Austin at a later time. Arrangements by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home - (512) 452-8811. Sign the online guestbook available at www.wcfish.com.


Funeral Home
Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Homes & Cremation Services - Austin
3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 452-8811
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Published in The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal on May 11, 2014
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