Ranger Exes Memorial - RHS Class of 1958

Betty Gardenhire BETTY GAIL GARDENHIRE REESE, 69, died peacefully on June 4, 2009, surrounded by her loving family at her home in Ft. Worth, TX, with interment at Greenwood Memorial Park. Betty was born in Ranger, TX on Jan. 11, 1940, the only child of her loving parents, Harless & Marie Sheppard Gardenhire. She was raised in Ranger and graduated from Ranger High School in 1958. Following high school graduation, Betty attended Abilene Christian University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in business education in 1961. She also completed all of the course work required for a master's of library science from the University of North Texas. In May of 1960, Betty married her high school sweet- heart and the love of her life, H. Michael Reese. In 1962, Betty and Mike moved to Fort Worth and built a life together that was blessed with 49 years of marriage and a wonderful family comprised of three loving children, their spouses, five adoring grandchildren, to whom she was "B," and, through the years, a house full of much- loved Schnauzers, currently a giant, named Sconcy, and two miniatures named Bagel and Mumpy. Betty spent her life loving God, loving her family, sharing her gifts with others and making her home a place where everyone wanted to gather. She lived Galatians 6:10, which says, "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the household of faith." Betty loved to read, loved to needlepoint, loved to cook and loved to travel. She always had a stack of books she was reading and could recommend a book that you were sure to enjoy. She always had a needle-point canvas she was stitching and filled her home with her handiwork, including treasured needlepoint Christmas stockings for all of her children and grandchildren. Food was one of her many "love languages" & she always had something wonderful to eat in the kitchen. And, being a world traveler, she was always ready to head to the airport. Betty was blessed to visit every continent (except Antarctica) and had recently returned from Australia and New Zealand in February of this year. In 1988, Betty fell in love with her favorite place on earth, Nantucket, MA, where she spent as much time as she could and frequently invited family and friends to join her. Whether it was spring, summer, fall or winter, Betty was always ready to go to Nantucket and had just returned from being there for Daffodil Weekend in April. Betty was a gourmet cook and the consummate hostess. She had a true gift for hospitality and was always willing to open her beautiful home for gatherings of family & friends, showers and dinner parties, church events, small group Bible studies and book circle meetings. Anything that came out of her kitchen was certain to be delicious, and wonderful food was always provided in abundance. When her children married, she created a cookbook compiled of special recipes from family and friends, some of which had been handed down for generations like the famous chocolate meringue pie, as a treasured gift to the families of her children. Betty's chocolate pie, which was featured in the summer of 1982 in a Living section article in the Star-Telegram, became a much coveted item that she took to friends when a baby was born, a death occurred or someone was recovering from surgery. There were people at her church who jokingly wished for a reason to have surgery just in the hope of receiving a "Betty Reese chocolate pie." She was a life-long member of the Church of Christ and was very proud of her church heritage. Betty was a student of the Bible, a member of Altamesa Church of Christ and had completed all of the studies offered by Bible Study Fellowship. She taught Sunday school classes throughout her life, but her greatest Bible teaching occurred in her home with her children and grandchildren where the word of God was upheld as the standard for living. At the age of 10, Betty accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and was baptized into Christ. As a result, she was confident in the gift of salvation and her heavenly destination upon departing this life. In the last few weeks of her life, as she began to lose her two-year battle with a GBM brain tumor, she spoke with peace & assurance about her future home in heaven and the homecoming celebration that awaited with her loving parents and the many friends who had predeceased her. She imagined that heaven would look something like Nantucket to her. Betty was a former librarian at Fort Worth Country Day, a former officer of the Rejebian Book Club, a member of the Fort Worth Lecture Society, the Fort Worth Club and Shady Oaks Country Club. An 11-year breast cancer survivor, Betty served as honorary chair for the 2008 Puttina on the Pink event in Fort Worth to help raise funds for health screenings and breast cancer awareness for under-served women in Tarrant County. Survivors: In addition to her husband, Mike, Betty is survived by her children, Dan and Tamara Reese of Fort Worth, Tim and Mitzi Reese of Austin and Cindy and Mike Melancon of Stillwater, OK; her grandchildren, Keller and Connor Reese, Walker and Maddie Reese and Margaux Melancon; and brother-in-law, David Reese.