Betty Ruth Rhodes Ley went home to be with the Lord on Monday, March 11, 2019 after a short illness. Betty was born on June 27, 1930, in Gonzales to Otis Clyde and Lillie Mae DeBerry Rhodes. She had one sibling, Marion Clyde Rhodes, who preceded her in death just six weeks ago.
She is survived by daughter Linda Ley Mock and husband Leo of Dobbin: sons, Timothy R. Ley and wife Kim, and Mark E. Ley all of Cuero: grandchildren, Tiffany Kurtz, Bethany Ley, Bradley Ley and wife Brittny, all of Cuero, Clayton Ley and fiancée Sarah of Victoria, Lindley Mock of Dobbin; and great-grandchildren, Kensly Ley and Tryp Kurtz of Cuero, Jaiden and Daylen Barker of Victoria, Jude Ley of Cuero, Addelyn Ley of Victoria, and Khloe Quinn Mock of Dobbin. Betty is also survived by four nieces, numerous cousins, and many friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Marion Rhodes and wife Melba, and husband Albert Edward “Poozie” Ley.
Betty grew up and attended Gonzales schools, and at age 12, she lost her father in a tragic accident. She and her brother helped their mother get through their teen years with odd jobs and serving their church. Betty and her three best friends were active as Apache cheerleaders before their graduation from Gonzales High School in 1948. She went to work as a secretary in the insurance business until her marriage and move to Cuero. On Jan. 13, 1951 Betty married Albert Edward “Poozie” Ley of Cuero.
After her two eldest children were born, Betty began a career with the DeWitt County Schools and worked under the County Superintendent until the position was abolished by the Texas Legislature in 1978. She then started a career with Texas Department of Human Services and was commissioned as a “Yellow Rose of Texas” by Governor Ann Richards upon retirement in 1992.
She actually became “Nanny” with the birth of the first grandchild, Tiffany, and continues to be called that special name by the hundreds of lives she has touched. Most people around Cuero still call her “Nanny” no matter how old they are.
Throughout her time, Betty gave her life to her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She was involved wholeheartedly in each of their lives and was so proud and excited each time a milestone in their lives was reached. She continually inspired Christian values and the love of family. Holidays were always a special time at Nanny’s house. She was always there any time anyone needed anything and never turned her back on any request.
Betty truly had a servants’ heart and was involved in many activities with the First Baptist Church where she served as a devout and giving member, a Sunday School teacher, an active Choir member, and Youth Program leader for decades. She also served on many committees and took numerous leadership roles. She touched the lives of hundreds of adults and youth with her sweet spirit and unending love for Christ. She never said “no” when there was a need no matter how great or how small.
Betty’s other passion was the Texas 4-H program, getting involved in DeWitt County when her daughter started work with Texas Agrilife Extension Service in 1977. For over forty-two years, Betty has been an active 4-H volunteer with the Pioneer-Post Oak 4-H Club and led her son, Tim, five grandchildren, and one great grandchild, Kensly, to receive top awards. She was enthusiastic, motivational, and inspirational when it came to young people “making their best better in 4-H.” In 2008, Betty received the DeWitt County Leader of the Year and in 2010, she was awarded the Texas 4-H Legacy Award for outstanding longtime service.
Along with DeWitt County 4-H, Betty was also active in the Texas Extension Education Association and led the county program by serving in all County Association offices. She loved attending the district and state conferences where she learned to teach important community topics. Betty was never able to be a classroom teacher as she always desired, but she enjoyed coming back to DeWitt County to teach others what she had learned. In 2003, Betty was named Extension Education Association Member of the Year.
Betty was also a member of the Cuero Gobbler Booster Club and supported all sports, academic, and cheerleading programs for more than fifty years. One of her most favorite activities was the Cuero Turkeyfest where she made sure Pioneer 4-H Club was always in the parade and worked the ticket gates. For many years, she was best known for also hosting several dozen houseguests with food and fellowship.
Back in the 70’s, Betty and Poozie helped organize the weekly “Sewing Circle” with six other couples, all who had been Cuero High School friends. For more than thirty plus years, this group met every Monday night for food and friendship. All of the couples were married at least fifty plus years and continued their friendships until death has taken most of the group.
The family will receive friends Thursday, March 14 from 5-7 p.m. at Freund Funeral Home in Cuero. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 15 at First Baptist Church in Cuero with interment in Hillside Cemetery.
Pallbearers include grandsons Bradley Ley and Clayton Ley, great-grandsons Tryp Kurtz, Jaiden Barker, and friends Michael Kuecker, Ricky Bluntzer, Anthony Netardus.
Honorary pallbearers include granddaughters Tiffany Kurtz, Bethany Ley, and Lindley Mock, great-grandchildren Kensly Ley and Daylen Barker, and friends Errol John Dietze, Dr. Raymond Reese, Dr. Mark Heard and Eric Draper.
The family would like to acknowledge the staff of Cuero Regional Hospital and DeTar Healthcare North for their care and support.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Baptist Church, 408 N. Gonzales, Cuero, Texas 77954 or the DeWitt County 4-H Program, 307 N. Gonzales, Cuero, Texas 77954.
You may sign the guest book or send condolences at www.freundfuneralhome.com.
Freund Funeral Home, 361-275-2343.