With great sadness we announce the death of Thomas Richard Bettes (Tom and “Little” Tommy), 74 years old of Smithville, Texas on March 13, 2022. He was born August 16, 1947 in Bay City, Texas, the third child of Ethel Fridge and Edward Davis Bettes.
During childhood Tommy attended a different school every year until he reached high school, where he met Judy Hunt and graduated in the top 10% of his class at Alvin High School in Texas. During his studies at Sam Houston State University, where he graduated with honors in Math and Chemistry, he fell in love with Judy, the love of his life, and they married May 24, 1969.
After 53 years of marriage, he is survived by his wife, Judy and his two daughters, Dena Arrington (Robert Arrington) and Jeanette Bettes (Jay Leonard) who together gave Tom his “J Boys”, grandsons, Joshua (21), Jayson (12), and Jaxon (10).
Tom served his country in the army during the Vietnam War and then enjoyed a very successful career as a computer hardware and software salesman for several prestigious companies. Tom lived his life to the fullest, committed to his family and friends, and diving deeply into his passions and hobbies. He raised his family in Austin, TX and was a founding member of Bethany United Methodist Church. Then moved to Smithville and became an active member of the Smithville Methodist Church. After retirement he stayed busy and had several thespian roles at the local Smithville Playhouse, worked on the Ascension Seton Smithville Hospital Board, and sat on the Bastrop County Appraisal Review Board. He was an avid student of Spanish and made several solo trips to Central and South America to immerse himself into the culture and language. He stayed fit through a lifelong dedication of running with his friends and family on beautiful trails and in local fun runs. He enjoyed long rides on his bicycle, later replaced by his motorcycle, the serenity felt on his sail boats, the fellowship and camaraderie found on the golf course, and the adrenaline rush of flying his Cessna and water and snow skiing (especially with the Bethany Bummers). He also enjoyed the challenge of working as a photographer for weddings and Smithville ISD football games. But his favorite passion of all involved taking care of his Smithville homestead property, affectionately known as The Otherside. He traveled the world and loved camping and the great outdoors and making others laugh. He dove right into life and lived it fearlessly. Tom never met a stranger and always had an easy smile and a helping hand. He was a beautiful person, a wonderful role model, and gave the best hugs! He touched many hearts and is dearly missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ethel and ED, and his sister, LaVerne Horne and his brother, Wendel Bettes, as well as many other dearly loved family members.
Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, April 23, 2022 at 11:00am at the First United Methodist Church of Smithville, TX. Fellowship and food in the church Family Activity Center following the service. In lieu of flowers please plant a tree in his honor or make a donation to his favorite charities: American Cancer Society and the Alzheimer’s Association.
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