Bettye Sue LewisFeb. 26, 1935 - Oct. 28, 2019Bettye Sue Rieger Lewis was a woman ahead of her time in many ways. She was a seeker of real beauty and wisdom, always open to new ideas her entire 84 years. She passed away peacefully in her home on October 28, 2019. A service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, November 9, at Seventh and James Baptist Church.Bettye was born February 26, 1935, in Wichita Falls, Texas, to John David Rieger and Stella Smith Rieger. She was an only child to doting parents and was surrounded by a large, loving family growing up in Wichita Falls.With a lifelong intellectual curiosity, she graduated from Wichita Falls High School in 1952. Her father insisted she receive a degree in business and, in 1956, she graduated with a bachelor's degree in business from Baylor University. She was on the Lariat Staff and wrote editorials urging Baylor to admit African American students to the University, almost a decade before that actually occurred. Bettye followed her undergraduate degree with a Masters in Christian Education from Southwestern Theological Seminary and a Master's in Education from Midwestern State University. During this decade of her 20s she would drive by herself each summer to Estes Park, Colorado, to be a hiking counselor at her beloved Camp Cheley. Camp Cheley was one of her favorite places on earth, a love shared by her son, John, who followed in her footsteps as a camper there for many years.In January of 1969, Bettye met Jerry Lewis in Wichita Falls, and they were married June 14, 1969. After their children, Sarah and John, were born, Bettye quickly left her career driven life and became the perfect wife, mother and homemaker. She was devoted to her home, family meals, gardening, volunteering in her children's church and school activities, was Sarah's Camp Fire leader, and created an amazing, stable home full of love. Her family was her first priority and they knew it. She took great pleasure in sewing beautiful clothes for Sarah and they spent many Saturday afternoons at Auzell's and Cloth World, scheming combinations of patterns and fabric. In addition to making a beautiful home, at various points Bettye was a teacher at St. Paul's Episcopal Day School, a curriculum specialist for Waco ISD, principal of Waco Baptist Academy, and finally worked alongside Jerry at The Lewis Group, their healthcare recruiting business for many years.Bettye was a talented quilter and made many quilts for her children and grandchildren, and has left beautiful baby quilts in boxes for her unborn great grandchildren. Her quilting group, the Material Girls, was a source of great pleasure to her and those friendships meant so much to her as did her friendships from PEO. Bettye was a voracious reader and it was hard to keep up with her reading list. She was still ordering books on her Kindle this fall. Bettye and Jerry traveled a great deal, and she was never without something to read or handwork for a quilt square along the way.Bettye is survived by her husband of 50 years, Jerry Lewis; daughter, Sarah Aynesworth and husband, Brian; son, John Lewis and wife, Ginna; grandchildren, Brian, Lewis, John and William Aynesworth, and Caroline and Margaret Lewis; and her faithful dog, Mitzi.We will miss her greatly, but she left us with so much for which we are grateful. She left us all with an appreciation for simple beauty, whether it is the beauty of nature or an appreciation of creative craftsmanship. She also left us with a sense of wisdom and lifelong learning. It is with a deep sense of gratitude that her family writes this synopsis of a pure and true love. Her kind, gentle, generous spirit will continue to inspire all of us to be the same.The family would like to express their deep appreciation for caregivers, Jada Hicks and Ana Varela, who treated Bettye like family these last several months.Memorials can be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at www.stjude.org or the Seventh and James Baptist Church Music Ministry at www.seventhandjames.org.The family invites you to leave a message or memory on our "Tribute Wall" at www.WHBfamily.com.

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