Cover photo for Betty Jo Baker's Obituary
Betty Jo Baker Profile Photo

Betty Jo Baker

Betty Jo Baker, 97, of Shepherd, TX died Monday, May 22, 2023. A service will be held at 2 P.M., Friday, May 26, 2023, at Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel. Burial will follow at Llano Cemetery.  The family will receive friends from 6-7:00 p.m., Thursday, May 25, 2023, at the funeral home. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors 2800 Paramount Blvd Amarillo, Texas 79109.

The second of three children born in 1925 to Ina and Wallace Stovall, Betty Jo Stovall came to be in Memphis, Texas.  Soon after, her parents moved her and her older sister Ina Jean and younger brother Buddy to a farm in Kress, Texas where they grew up.

Betty graduated high school in Kress, and while being a prim and proper young lady, she had many boys who fancied her but said that she only dated boys who could dance.  She loved to dance.

As a 19-year-old in Amarillo, Betty was selected as a contestant to represent Amarillo in the 1944 Miss America pageant.  Several years later, one young man caught her attention, and being a good dancer, they married.  Betty and Richard Leo Shaw had one son, Richard (Rick) Burnett Shaw.  The Shaws were avid water skiers, and Betty was a regular ski champion on the circuit throughout several states. Betty and Richard (Dick) formed a club at Buffalo Lake near Lubbock and named it the Rick Shaw Water Ski Club and Tournament after young Rick and sponsored tourneys throughout Texas and Oklahoma.  When the marriage ended, Betty and her son Rick moved to Amarillo.

Betty worked with special security clearance for a number of years at Pantex Ordinance Plant.  She was a private pilot like her father Wallace, and they were members of the National Flying Farmers Association. Betty was an avid bowler with a Pantex league, a model, photographer,

pianist, and square dancer with her young son in the early 1960’s.

After marrying Gene M. Baker in 1964, the Bakers moved to Houston where Betty was the executive secretary and stenographer to Gus Wortham, founder of John L. Wortham & Son Insurance and American General Insurance Company.

In 1975, Betty and Gene bought a small 10-acre farm outside of Shepherd, Texas where Betty still lived at the time of her passing. While there, Betty was a long-time member of the Sweet Adelines International, and also sang in the choir at the First Presbyterian Church in Livingston, Texas.  She was also a painter in the 1980’s and traveled the world with Gene, her son Rick, sister Jean Garner, and niece Dr. Sharon Garner.

Betty is survived by her son Rick Baker, nieces Dr. Sharon Garner, Gina Stovall Burdett, Betty Lynn-Kelly Garner, nephew Gary Stovall, step-children Ronald E. Baker, Resa McAlexander, and Rene’ Carter Brown, and many wonderful grand-nieces, grand-nephews, and grandchildren.
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