ODESSA - Betty Jo Johnson, 86, of Odessa, Texas, died June 1, 2017, at her home in Odessa.
Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, June 5, at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
Funeral services will be 1 p.m., Tuesday, June 6, at First Baptist Church Odessa, with the Rev. Byron McWilliams officiating. Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Arrangements are by Sunset Memorial.
Betty was born July 18, 1930, in the boomtown Texon, Texas. It was named for the company that drilled the Santa Rita, the first producing-well in the Permian Basin, and much of her early life followed from that. Her father Jess Bullard, mother Carol Miles Bullard and younger brother Ralph, moved from boomtown to boomtown in West Texas. At that time, production was so intense in Ector County that the flares from all of the wells meant the night sky never actually got dark.
Betty graduated from Odessa High School in 1947, and soon after, while working as a server at a burger joint, met oilman Herbert L. Johnson. They were married Sept. 5, 1948, and their three children were born during the next five years. A neighbor invited them to First Baptist Church where they raised their family; Betty was a member for 61 years, until her death. Her Sunday School class won't be quite the same without her laughter and "comments".
Herb and Betty were very much in love and no less ornery even in their seventh decade together. Betty still made the occasional bawdy remark about him that caused her children to roll their eyes and her extended descendants to blush and exclaim, "Mama!" Her friends at Medical Center Hospital, where she volunteered for 50 years, should know those sort of jokes, her love of telling them, and remember the laugh that always accompanied their punchline.
She was humble and always ready to serve. Betty was an encourager wherever she went but always told it like it was. You never had to wonder what she was thinking: she would let you know. Mama loved her children, grandkids and great-grands. She was never more full of life and laughter than when her family was around her.
Betty's wit and sense of humor endured through her two successful bouts with cancer and during the third which took her life but not her joy. The world is less without her. We are thankful to the West Texas Cancer Center for their care.
She took her last breath on earth in the arms of her loving husband and took her first breath in Heaven as she was healed into the arms of her Savior.
Betty is preceded in death by her father Jess and mother Carol Bullard.
She is survived by her husband Herb; brother Ralph Bullard and wife Mary Ann; daughter Donna Dendy and her husband Larry; sons Gary Johnson and wife Laurie, and David H. Johnson and wife Deborah; grandchildren Tony Carimi and wife Debbie; Jason Carimi and partner Susan Shaud; Christy Vines and husband Chaney; and David A. Johnson; and great-grandchildren Kylie and Kellyn Carimi, and Katelynn, Julia, Michael and Tyler Vines.
Pallbearers will be Tony Carimi, Jason Carimi, David A Johnson, Larry Dendy, Chaney Vines, Mark Donaldson, Doug Chisum, Alan Griffin.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to First Baptist Church of Odessa or a charity of your choice