Betty Ruth (Crawford) Eldredge, 82, of Timpson, Texas, passed away peacefully on August 25, 2023 at her home in Timpson. She was born on February 9, 1941, in Indianola, Oklahoma to the late Roy Samuel and Audrey (Harrelson) Crawford. Funeral Services will be held at 4:00 PM on Sunday, August 27, 2023, at Timpson Missionary Baptist Church in Timpson, Texas, with Bro. Levi Cohorst officiating. A visitation will be held prior to the service from 3:00 to 4:00 PM on Sunday, August 27, 2023, at Timpson Missionary Baptist Church.
Betty’s entire life was a testimony to God’s divine direction, provision, mercy, grace and love. She grew up in McAlester, Oklahoma, until her junior year of high school when her family moved to Denison, Texas due to a job transfer. What seemed a difficult move during this stage of her life, would later prove to be the start of a beautiful story God was writing. Betty met Sammy Joe Eldredge in November 1958 at the Dixie Dog. Betty told Sammy, “You can’t park there.” Sammy said, “Watch me.” She kept bossing him around for the rest of their lives. From the moment he laid eyes on her, Sammy knew Betty was the love of his life. Betty never understood why such a handsome man would be so interested in her, but she gave him a chance and the rest is history. On June 13, 1959, Sammy and Betty were married and within the next two years, they grew their family by two, with daughters, Cindy and Sandy.
In 1966, Betty began working part-time in a beauty salon. Being a cosmetologist was not a job for her. She truly loved what she was doing which was proof in her lengthy career from 1959-2023. It was so fulfilling for her to pamper people, make them feel beautiful and all the while becoming friends. Even throughout all of the moves her family would make, Betty continued working as a beautician. After moving to Timpson in 1974, she went to work for Callie B. Robinson at Callie’s Beauty Shop. When Callie passed in 1990, Betty and Sammy purchased the beauty shop, but kept its name, and Betty worked there tirelessly until February of 2023.
Every moment of Betty’s life was a divine appointment from her Lord. Nothing was a coincidence. From moving to Texas and meeting Sammy, surrendering to the ministry, coming to Timpson, her battle with cancer, and all of the moments in between. There was a bigger picture….a greater story written. Her entire life was a ministry. Thousands of lives were touched, changed, moved in some way. She poured love out on everyone she met. Most importantly, she shared Jesus. Betty taught Sunday School classes, served in the Ladies Auxiliary and sang in the church choir. She was never ashamed to share the gospel of Christ, even the day her doctor shared the final diagnosis, she proclaimed her faith and then witnessed to him right in that office. “I’m ready,” she said, “Are you ready?”
“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.” ~ Proverbs 31:10. Betty was the epitome of a Proverbs 31 woman. Humble, caring, hard-working, servant’s heart, giver, devoted…these words and so many more describe the legacy that is Betty Eldredge’s life. Her greatest legacy was her faith. July 1967, Sammy walked the aisle of their church to surrender his life to the ministry, and right behind him walked Betty. That morning, she, too surrendered her life alongside her husband, and from that day forward, through some of the toughest times, Betty stood by her surrender. The sacrifices that would have to be made, the challenges they would face, in every moment they remained faithful in their work for the Lord. In June 1968, they moved to Henderson to attend seminary and shortly thereafter took the pastorate of Gumsprings MBC where they remained until 1972. Lee-Hi MBC called Sammy and Betty to their church in Sulphur Springs until 1974 when God would move their family to Timpson as pastor of Timpson MBC and they remained there until 2008 when Sammy retired. Even after his retirement and his passing, Betty continued her personal ministry in their church until about a month before her passing.
Second to her faith was her family. She was a dedicated daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, pastor’s wife, and friend. She was everybody’s Granny. You walked in her home and there was a feeling of warmth there. She loved having her entire family over for the holidays. Over the years as the family grew, the love just multiplied, filling Granny and Papoo’s house with abundant joy. The funny Christmas games, the Easter egg hunts in the yard, dressing up every year for the trick or treaters. She was the best host every year for the ladies Christmas party in her home. Her sweet tea, bacon and cherry cheesecake is legendary! At church functions, everyone walked in expecting those infamous “Granny’s Sweet Tea” jugs to be sitting on that back counter, and at special events, that cheesecake. Even during her treatments when she couldn’t make it to the fellowship, she still found enough energy to get that tea made and send it to the church. That end seat on the third row and hearing her adjourn every business meeting….Betty’s presence among her church family will be evidently missed, but the time God allowed her to serve with them will be treasured for years to come.
Betty was a friend, confidant and counselor. She was always a voice of reason. She would offer words of advice and comfort, sometimes words you didn’t want to hear but that you needed. She was a worrier and a warrior! If you knew Betty, she always found something to worry about, usually people and what they had going on, but you also knew that at the end of the day, she let the warrior rise and she would be fighting in prayer for you. Her faith always won over her fear.
Betty was a caregiver. Emotionally, mentally and physically she gave of herself and her time. From caring for her mother and father during their illness and eventual passing, to honoring her vows to Sammy, “in sickness and in health” and gently caring for his needs when his health failed him and the Lord called him home. Then helping her friend Jim during the last few years and caring for him until his passing as well. There were days through all of those years when Granny didn’t have enough strength to provide what they needed, but that is when she prayed, leaned on the Lord and let His strength carry them all.
That was Betty, everyone’s Granny. Never a hair out of place. Never a wrinkle in her clothes (or her curtains, or her sheets….she literally ironed everything!) She was the walking definition of proper, respectable, loving and faithful. During her final months as her cancer took its toll, Granny still leaned on the Lord to see her through. She worried more about what it was doing to her family than to her. Everyday, she continued to read her Bible as she did her entire life. She knew where her help came from and trusted that while none of us understood this journey, that God’s ways were greater. Even in the last days of her life, she had her daughters sit and listen as she quoted the 23rd Psalm. The sweet assurance of God’s promise of peace and comfort were offered to help her during the suffering, but also to whisper to her family of God’s unfailing grace and mercy during all circumstances.
While her absence will leave an unfillable void, what a glorious celebration we all can have knowing she is now in the presence of her Savior! Her life was a testimony of Him, as was her death. Romans 8:18 KJV reads, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” That quiet morning in her bedroom when the Lord called Betty home, her body was healed from all ailments and suffering and her eyes were opened in the glories of Heaven she taught and spoke of all those years. None could compare to the glory she beheld as the Savior welcomed her home.
Betty is survived by:
Cindy Rhodes and husband, Bobby
Sandy Jones and husband, Carroll
Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren:
Kimber Jones and husband, Joey (Tres, Emma, Erin)
Scott Jones and wife, Katie (Makayla, Sophie, Jaxon, Darcie, Maddie)
Jenny Rhodes (Savannah and Madeline)
Joseph Jones and wife, Kathryn (Klaira, Kayleigh, Alaina, Josiah, Judah, Jaden, Jordan)
Samuel Jones and wife, Ashley
Sister and brother-in-law, Louise and Richard Koiner
Brother: Roy Crawford, Jr.
A host of other family and friends.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Sammy Eldredge and parents, Roy and Audrey Crawford.
Pallbearers for her service will be Scott Jones, Joseph Jones, Samuel Jones, Joey Jones, Jaxon Jones and Solomon Cassell.
In lieu of flowers, Betty requested donations be made to Timpson MBC Building Fund.