Betty Jo DeWitt passed away on September 15, 2013 in Caruthers, California surrounded by her loving family.
Betty was born in Quanah, Texas on July 6, 1926, one of six siblings, to Gladys and Robert Rosco Byrd. The family moved west in the 1930’s, seeking to escape the devastating combination of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, arriving in Bakersfield where the kids worked out in the fields seven days a week to help support the family. The Byrd family eventually settled in Monmouth in Fresno County where Betty attended Monroe Elementary and Caruthers High School until her marriage November 23, 1942 to Othel DeWitt. They began life together working on a dairy farm in Caruthers, before buying their own property to farm grapes. Later on they moved to San Jose, then Easton, and eventually back to Caruthers to settle down permanently.
While also raising her three children, Betty was a teacher’s aide at Caruthers Elementary from 1972 until her retirement in 1993. She was a faithful member of the Caruthers Church of Christ for more than 60 years. During those years she was a Sunday school teacher and enjoyed singing, worship service, and studying scripture in her Bible study groups.
Betty was a long-time supporter of Caruthers High sports, but became best known for her ardent support of the Fresno State Bulldogs. One of her favorite things was attending FSU football, basketball and baseball games. When she couldn’t make it to the game, everyone knew she would be home listening to the KMJ broadcast.
Betty was preceded in death by her husband Othel DeWitt, her daughter Marilyn DeWitt and her sister Christine DeWitt.
She is survived by her son, Thomas (Anna) of Fresno, daughter Janine Gallyer (John) of Caruthers, grandchildren Jeff Mullen of Fresno, Christy DeWitt (Patrick) of Petaluma, Shena Hoffman (Brandon) of Caruthers, Steven Gallyer (Fernanda) and Shelby Ortiz (Juan) of Fresno, great-grandchildren Kendra Foster, Brynna Mullen, Xavier and Liam Kubley, Carson and Luke Hoffman, and Savannah Marilyn Ortiz. Also brothers Howard Byrd of North Fork, Robert Byrd of Fresno, and sisters Mary Perez of Caruthers and Virginia Ripley of Fresno. Betty will also be missed by her many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
A celebration of her life will be held Friday, September 20 at 10 a.m. at Page Funeral Chapel, 2014 Arrants Street, Selma, CA 559-896-1240