Betty Jo Baker

Betty Jo Baker
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.


6 Replies to “Betty Jo Baker”

  1. I was a caregiver for Miss Betty for a short time, but the time was one of the most joyous times spent, with such a wonderful, kind, caring , lovely lady, who shared beautiful memories of her life with me. she shared many funny stories, that kept me laughing . I will keep her loving memories in my heart always. To : her son Rick and niece Sharon who was also very kind and caring , you have my greatest condolences and prayers . RIP Miss Betty ❤️🌹🙏

  2. Betty came into my life in the spring of 2000 when Lance and I moved to the Shepherd area. Betty and Gene were our closest neighbors. Betty and I both loved to sing and spent many evenings at her piano harmonizing to show tunes. We shared a love for musicals and attended a few together at Theater Under the Stars in Houston. She also loved to have me stay over and watch classic movies to the wee hours of the morning since we were both night owls. We especially shared a love of hymns. I loved attending church with her and singing the hymns together or watching her sing in the choir. She always greated me with a smile and a hug. She became a very special friend, confidant and adopted Mom to me! I have been blessed to make lots and lots of priceless memories with Betty. She has definitely left her footprints on my heart! She is dearly loved and greatly missed .

  3. Rick, I’m so sorry for your loss. Betty was such a beautiful person both outside and inside. I always loved seeing what the two of you were involved. I know there is a void now that can never be filled but thankfully you have wonderful memories and photos of mom and son. ♥️

  4. We met her at First Presbyterian Church when we moved to east Texas in 2013 and I always enjoyed chatting with her when filling shoeboxes for the Port of Houston seamen or having a second Sunday lunch. She had a twinkle in her eyes and a great smile but not till I did a short bio of her for the church did I know how accomplished and fantastic she was. We (my wife, I, and members of the church) were blessed to have spent time with her.

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