Betty Jean Thedford Bowlin was born in Tyler, Oct. 4, 1926, to Julian and Bess Thedford. She passed away July 31, 2013, at the age of 86 after a lifetime of service to God. Betty made her profession of faith at age 8 and surrendered her life to missions while attending a Smith County Association Camp for GA's. She married Ralph Bowlin in 1947 and left for Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Africa, where she served the Lord for 34 years as a Southern Baptist Missionary.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Dan and Claudia Bowlin, of Little Rock, Ark.; her daughter, Treesa Bowlin Wittman, of Daphne, Ala.; sister and brother-in-law, Martha and Clint Wrotenbery, of Grand Prairie; sister-in-law, Shirley Thedford, of Fort Worth; nieces and nephews, Sheryl Penn, of Tyler, Lynn and Lynn Johnson, of Houston, Cathi and Craig Henderson, of Tyler, Laurel and George Lynch, of Colleyville, Carol Lunsford, of Grand Prairie, and Clif and Esther Thedford, of Fort Worth; four grandchildren; 10 great-nieces and great-nephews; and 11 great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews.
Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013, at 9 a.m. followed by a celebration of her life at First Baptist Church at 10 a.m. with the Rev. Pike Wisner officiating under direction of Burks Walker Tippit Funeral Home. A reception will follow to receive the family.
Pallbearers will be Lynn Johnson, Jason Johnson, Clif Thedford, George Lynch, Scot Cockroft, Justin Henderson and Louis Wilkins.
In lieu of flowers, Betty requested that remembrances be made to Zimbabwe Orphanage, c/o International Mission Board, P.O. Box 6767, Richmond, Va., 23230-0767.
The family wishes to acknowledge the doctors, nurses and staff of Mother Frances Hospital, Renal Ventures of Tyler and The Hospice of East Texas for their caring attention to Betty's health needs during the past several years, especially Drs. Donald Knarr, Molly Bankhead, Aide Onime, Terry Woodard, Kent Webb, Royal Becker and Feng Li.
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on Aug. 2, 2013