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John W. Betts

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John W. Betts, 86, long time Tucumcari, NM businessman and community leader, died Monday January 14th, 2008, of natural causes in Amarillo, TX. Services will be held Saturday January 19, 2008, 2:30 p.m.at the Center Street United Methodist Church.
John was born October 18, 1921, in Hugo, OK to John W. Betts and Martha Melinda (Ninnie) Scott Betts. John grew up in Detroit TX and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942, where he served as a Crew Chief on B-17 bombers during WWII. In 1948, he married Gladys Marie Reece in Washington D.C. He received his BS Degree in Agriculture from Sam Houston State Teachers College in Huntsville, TX in 1953. In 1954, the family moved to Tucumcari, NM to develop and landscape the local cemetery. Within a short time John and Marie realized they had found a loving church home and community they did not want to leave. So, John went to work for the City of Tucumcari managing the local cemetery, working in real estate and eventually selling life insurance for over 50 years with Great Southern Life Insurance Company. John was a lifelong member of the Center Street United Methodist Church where he taught Sunday School and was a youth leader. He was very active in the community and very involved in local, state and national politics. He served in various positions in the local Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce and Republican Party for Quay County. He enjoyed participating in local Community Theatre productions, coaching Little League and mentoring youth. He enjoyed gardening, camping with his family, air shows, and fishing with his buddies C.L. O'Quinn and Jim Funk. He was a skilled mechanic and thoroughly enjoyed buying used cars at auctions.
He was preceded in death by his sister Leona Betts and two brothers Ronald and Fred Betts. He is survived by his wife Marie of 59 years, sons Bill and wife Rosalie of Santa Fe, NM, Rodney and his wife Sherry of Amarillo, TX, daughter Mary Helen Leininger and her husband Gail of Nampa, ID, eleven grandchildren and six great grandchildren, his sister Hazel West of Springdale, AK, numerous nieces and nephews and several cherished cousins.
Pallbearer's are Bill Betts, Rodney, J.W. Betts, Geoffrey Betts, Gail Leininger, Norman Smith and Ray Merrill.
Honorary pallbearers are Orville Brasher, James Streetman, Jess Goldsten, Jack White, Garland Griggs, Toby Mitchell, Ken Bailey, John Foster, Ronald Roth, Norman Latham, Scott McDaniel, Ken Bailey, Mike Mitchell and Doug Stull.
Arrangements are by Dunn Funeral Home, Tucumcari, NM, 505-461-3815.
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