Betty Jo Groves, 81, of Rusellville, formerly of El Dorado, Arkansas, died October 3, 2019, at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center. Betty Jo was born June 15, 1938, to Gladious Lorine Alderson in Menifee, Arkansas. Betty had five siblings: John Maurice, Mary Ann (deceased), Wilfred Arnette (Jackie), Harry Darnell (Chadia), and Albert Dee (deceased). Betty Jo attended Fairview Elementary School, and Urbana Elementary school where her beloved mother taught. She was a 1955 graduate of Washington High School of El Dorado. While she was in elementary school Betty Jo sang in the choir and participated in both math and spelling contests. In high school, she participated in the band as a majorette. Upon matriculating to college at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff (formerly AM&N), Betty Jo continued as a selected majorette. She was an avid church-goer throughout school and adulthood and enjoyed everyone she interfaced.
Betty Jo left Arkansas in 1964 and moved to San Francisco to work for the transit authority driving the bus and trolley for many years until her retirement. She married Leo Rodgers and to that union were added four children: Sarah, Wilfred (Audrey), Susan, Sheldon (deceased), and Reginald (deceased). Her son, Sean was born later after marrying Joseph Groves. Betty Jo’s prolific love for children continued as she adopted Cori and Ricci.
If you visited with Betty Jo on a normal day at her home in Russellville, Arkansas, she knew and chatted with everyone who passed by. Her charismatic warmth and compassion transcended the community throughout her lifetime.
Betty Jo leaves behind her beloved and precious children: Sarah, Wilfred (Audrey), Susan, Sean, Ricci and Cori. She leaves her loving legacy to her siblings John Moore (Terri), Wilfred Arnett, Harry (Chadia), her nine plus grandchildren, many cousins, relatives, and many, many friends.
Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Humphrey Funeral Service. A memorial service to celebrate Betty Jo’s life will be Saturday, October 12, at West Side Church of Christ in Russellville, with Rev. Kenneth Ridgell officiating.
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