Betty Jean (McSweeny) Sowell was our loving mom, grandmother, sister, daughter and friend. After many years of coping with significant heart, kidney and other physical difficulties, she was called home on February 1, 2022 at the age of 80 while in Ft. Worth, TX. She was a resident of Iraan, TX where she lived with her daughter, Lori Canon before she went for treatment in Fort Worth.
Please join us for a celebration of Betty’s life on Saturday, February 26, 2022 at 10:30am at Iraan Church of Christ, 604 Harte St, Iraan, TX 79744, followed by a graveside gathering.
Betty was born to Connie Milton (C.M.) McSweeny and Marion ‘Louise’ Porter in Prescott, Arkansas on March 26, 1941. She was the oldest of 4 siblings. Around 1952 Betty’s family moved to Rankin, TX and subsequently to McCamey, TX the following year. She attended McCamey High School where she was a drummer in the marching band, a feature editor for the school paper, The Scrapper, as well as a National Honor Society member. She graduated from McCamey High School in 1958 after only attending high school for 3 years.
She married Bobby Hill in 1958 and they had two children; Lori and Jay. She continued to live in and around the McCamey/Iraan area (even next door to her dear in-laws Homer and Mattie Zue Hill) then in El Paso and Midland, TX. She later married Haley L. Sowell in 1975. They attended the Golf Course Road Church of Christ in Midland where she was active in the children's bus ministry. She owned and ran two businesses in the Midland area; an antique store and a successful insurance business. Haley and Betty had their daughter, Jessica, just before relocating to Greenville, TX in 1977. They joined the Johnson Street Church of Christ (now Creekside Church of Christ) where Betty was an active member of the congregation. Several years later, Haley and Betty had their youngest son Ryan. During the late 1980’s Betty ran a party planning business in Greenville; including singing birthday grams with her in full costume. Betty and her family relocated a few years later to the Garland area. Betty, Jessica and Ryan attended the Buckingham Road Church of Christ. In 1990, Betty fulfilled her dream of moving to Colorado; settling with her children in Aurora. She participated in about every activity she could as a devoted member of the Southeast Church of Christ. She was a weekly volunteer at the church food bank, taught many babies in the cradle roll class, planned youth group activities, and much more. For years she ran a small business selling Mary Kay and was a partner in a multi-state estate planning business. In 2020, Betty moved to Iraan, TX to live with her daughter Lori Canon.
Betty was an avid reader and loved her crossword puzzles. She loved to sew and made many clothes for not only her children but others; including several wedding, bridesmaid and prom dresses. She loved music, museums, theater and all the arts. Betty was a talented artist. Even in her later years you could find her wheeling her walker into the rec center for a watercolor class. She loved to laugh and had a sarcastic sense of humor. She was thoughtful and kind; carrying umbrellas in her car to give to strangers in the rain and taking the gloves off her hands to give to someone who had none. She was a skilled gardener; several times voted best yard by her townhome association for her flowers. She held her family, her church, and her friends very dear to her heart. She loved her children and cherished her grandchildren; calling them “her babies” and she was their Mimi. To her family wasn’t only blood, it was who you invited to be your family. Betty was spontaneous; she would pack a picnic and jump in the car for a day trip or spend a night in a mountain cabin. She was adventurous; even in her 50’s she whitewater rafted and rode horses. She was an incredible hostess; she loved good food and lots of laughs with those she loved. She was fearless. If Betty wanted something in life, she went and got it. She was clever; easily adapting to new environments - going back into the workforce to provide for her family after having been out for so many years. She was tough, but she loved deeply. In her later years she enjoyed watching the birds. You could find her sitting contentedly at the window or back door watching them at the feeders.
Betty’s life didn’t come to an end with her death. Those that loved her will keep her memory alive in their stories and memories of her. We remember her with tears and joy; tears for our loss and joy in our memories of her. Her life continues on in heaven, with those she loved that went on before her.
She was preceded in death by her son, Jay Steven Hill, father, mother, brother, Connie Ray McSweeny, and many aunts and uncles.
Betty is survived by her siblings, Harold McSweeny of Odessa, TX and Diane Patty of Lexley, AL; sister-in-laws, Linda McSweeny of Rowlett, TX and Betty Jean Hill McCray of Keller, TX; children, Lori Canon of Iraan, TX, Jessica Davis of Denver, CO, Ryan Sowell (Mariana Mata Sowell) of Boston, MA; her cherished grandchildren, Madelyn Davis of Ft. Collins, CO, Olivia Eaton of Denver, CO, Emilia Jay and Penelope Sloan Sowell Mata of Boston, MA and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, and too many friends to count.
Betty loved children and supported a number of children’s causes throughout her life. In honor of her devotion to helping children we kindly request that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the West Texas Boys Ranch Foundation, P.O. Box 4077, San Angelo, TX 76904-4077 by phone (325) 949-1936 or https://www.wtbr.org/donate
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