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Betty was born to Charles Oscar and Jennie Ethel (Stephens) Nuckolls, on July 12, 1927 in Enid, Oklahoma. The youngest of five, when her four older brothers learned of her arrival, they ran around the neighborhood, proclaiming, "We have a sister"!! She was always so proud of her big brothers, Bob, Dick, Jim, and Don, and equally proud of her nephews and nieces! Her favorite Aunt Ollie attended all of her sister's births, including Betty's, and her daughter Martha Jane, Betty's favorite cousin.
Betty's father, who was a civil engineer for the Frisco Railway, was transferred from Enid to Sapulpa, Oklahoma, and for a short time, they lived in Granby, Colorado with her Grandparents. In 1932, they moved back to Tulsa, where Betty received her early education. She won contests with her beautiful penmanship and sang in many of her school concerts. She attended Kendall Grade School and Wilson Jr. High, graduating from Central High School, in May 1945, just as World War II was coming to an end.
Betty grew up in a loving Christian home during the Great Depression. When she was eleven years old, during Easter weekend, she walked down the aisle and received Jesus as her Lord and Savior, as the congregation was singing; "Come into my heart Lord Jesus". And that July, 1939, she was baptized with water from the Jordan River.
In 1945, Betty enrolled in Oklahoma A&M College, in Stillwater, OK. In the fall of her sophomore year at the Alpha Delta Pi dance hour, she met the 'love of her life', a Stillwater boy named Bob. Their dates mostly consisted of 'Jitterbug', 'Swing', and Ballroom dancing, to the 'Big Band' music. The following Easter weekend, in Tulsa, he 'pinned' her with his fraternity pin. The following spring, they became formally engaged on April 18th, 1947, celebrating at their Junior~Senior Prom, in Gallagher Hall, where Harry James and his band played for the occasion. They liked to call it their own 'Engagement Party'!
Bob and Betty were married on July 20, 1947 in the Second Presbyterian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and honeymooned at Rockaway Beach on Lake Taneycomo, in Missouri. They established their home in Stillwater, where Bob worked with his father in the Barnes Goble Chrysler Plymouth business, which he eventually took over. After working in the Poultry Department at Oklahoma A&M for a short time, the decision was made for Betty to stay at home, where she was happy to remain, as a wife, mother and homemaker. They were blessed with three beautiful children; Larry Alan, Beverly Gayle, and Robert Warren.
They joined the First Baptist Church, where Betty worked in the nursery, Sunday School, and Vacation Bible School, and loved teaching the little children stories and songs about Jesus. She was blessed with a beautiful voice, always loved singing the Hymns at church, and enjoyed singing in the church choir. Learning to sew from her own mother, she fashioned beautiful clothing for herself, many doll clothes, dresses, dance outfits, and bride's maid dresses for Beverly and her friends.
Her hobbies were traveling, reading, sewing, genealogy, singing, bird watching, playing bridge, writing skits, and sometimes performing in them for her PEO sisters and other groups, and dancing to 40's and 50's music with Bob. She loved traveling with her husband and friends, all over the United States, and many other countries. With Bob as the pilot they had many adventures in their own plane, taking the kids on family vacations. Later, their summers were spent in the beautiful mountains of Cuchara, Colorado, where they built their own cabin with help from family and friends. And, in more recent years, they rented a cabin in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Some of Betty's greatest delights were the mountain flowers, chipmunks and birds. Her favorite little doggies were a Dachshund named Sammy and a cute little mutt named Layla. She delivered Mobile Meals for many years, and visited the 'home-bound' from church. She was also very active in the Alpha Delta Pi sorority, continuing till recent years, and also, PEO, and several bridge clubs, where she met some of her dearest life-long friends.
Her greatest joy in life was in being a wife, homemaker, and mother to their three children. She was a leader for Beverly in Brownies, and Den Mother for Larry and Robbie, in Boy Scouts. Her fried chicken, meatloaf, and roast beef dinners, were some of the best southern cookin' around!! She learned quickly, how to fry up all the bass and trout that Bob and the boys could catch, and those delicious quail from all Bob's fishing and hunting trips! Later, she loved being called 'Grandmommy', watching her grandchildren grow up, attending their baseball games, and the births of their eleven great grandchildren, whom she adored! Singing, 'Jesus Loves the Little Children', 'Itsy Bitsy Spider', and 'Jesus Loves Me', to her grandchildren and great grandchildren, and teaching them to click their tongues at a young age, will forever be in our hearts and memories. She was so very proud of them all! They called her 'Gigi'!
This past July 2017, Bob and Betty joyously celebrated their 70th Anniversary, and Betty's 90th Birthday, along with their family! Betty gave compliments freely, had a great sense of humor, often laughing at herself. She had a sweet spirit, loved her family and friends, loved her Father God, loved her life and lived it to the fullest! We are so very thankful for Betty as a loving and faithful wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, and friend....forever grateful, we were blessed to be hers!! "...We her children, rise up and call her Blessed...", a Proverbs 31 Woman!!
Betty was predeceased by her parents, parents-in-law, J.C. and Lillie Barnes, her brothers and their wives; Bob and Betty, Dick, Jim and Helen, Don and Elizabeth Nuckolls, nephews David and Robert Nuckolls, and Wayne Garden, nieces Kathy and Kim Nuckolls, and son, Larry Barnes. She is survived by her husband Bob, of the home, daughter, Beverly and husband, Jim Campbell, and son, Rob Barnes, all of Stillwater. Grandchildren; Bryce, Scott and Camey, Todd and Autumn Campbell, and Kelsey Black all of Stillwater. Eleven great grandchildren; Callie, Cole, Cyah, Case, Peyton, Callen, Kendrie, and Duke Campbell, and Avery, Evyn, and Parker Black, all of Stillwater. A very dear & special niece, Debi Garden. Nephews and nieces; Steven and Jacque, Mark and Dovie Nuckolls and families all of Tulsa, Carol Ann and Jon Henry, Bobby and Belinda, Jack and Becky, Tommy and Pat Nuckolls, Jeanne and Richard Anderson, Richard and Barbara Oliveria and families, and so many dear, life-long friends.
Pallbearers were; Rob Barnes, Bryce Campbell, Scott Campbell, Todd Campbell, Kenny Skillman, and Jimmy Dickey. Honorary Pallbearers were; Mike Burtrum, Clay Burtrum, Charlie Scott, Frank Shadid, Blanchard Reel, Rick Hesser, Lowell Barto, Steve Cundiff, Dr. Bill Clay, Dr. Bob Smith, J.L. Seaborn (deceased), and Abe Hesser (deceased).
Thank you to all those who attended Betty's Celebration of Life, for all the beautiful floral arrangements, many prayers, and cards of sympathy. We also want to thank First Baptist Church, Lynnette Chapman, Pastor John Bugg, Dwayne Hunter, and Andrew Cox, media. Our family is so very grateful for Betty's tireless and loving caregiver, Sherry Kyle and her helpers, also; Physician's Choice Hospice, May's Home Call, Linda Anderson, Dr. Daniel Hill and nurse Emily, and Debbie House of the Greenery. Greatly appreciated, were Lynn Hughes and the lovely ladies of First Baptist Church, for so graciously hosting the luncheon and fellowship. Also, our family was so very blessed by Mike Chace's caring and guidance, and the staff at Strode Funeral Home for their excellent service during this difficult time.
Condolences may be emailed to the family and an online obituary may be viewed at Strodefh@aol.com.
If you care to send a donation in Betty's name to Physician's Choice Hospice, or the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority Building Fund: Make check payable to: Alpha Delta Pi Foundation, Memo: AO Educational Housing Fund (Betty Barnes), Alpha Delta Pi Foundation Inc., 1386 Ponce de Leon Ave. N.E., Atlanta, GA 30306.
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