We want to first extend our gratitude and thanks to all our friends and family who have come today to honor this great man, Jerry Betts -- Husband, Father, Grandpa, Great Friend, Co-Worker --, a person we have all come to love and cherish for many, many years. Each and every one of you have made a huge impact in Jerry’s life.
Jerry Lee Betts, a.k.a Mouse, was born in Atchison, Kansas, on May 30,1950, to Gladys and Alfonzo Betts. He was raised in Port Arthur, Texas, where he developed a love for surfing and salt water at Crystal Beach and Galveston Island. He loved working on cars, and just having a great time running around with his close friends who are here with us today. Jerry and his buddies spent a good amount of time driving up and down Gulf Way Drive also known as the “drag”, including cruising in Gary Staton’s dune buggy!
While in high school and with his father’s help and leadership, Jerry earned the rank of Eagle Scout. His first job was at the Burger Chef, and he gave his mother his paycheck to help pay bills. His dedication to earning and paying his way permeated his entire life. He was a hard worker who never took anything for granted.
In February of 1970 his number was called to join the army. He enrolled in the airborne school out of Georgia and later joined the National Guard Airborne Infantry division and served 6 years. He was deathly afraid of heights but as part of the airborne division he had to face this fear and conquer it. He was very proud of overcoming this fear in order to serve his country.
Jerry later moved to Houston where he had one daughter, Gretchen, on May 11, 1976. He later met Kim, the love of his life, who he’s spent the last 17 years with. Jerry is also survived by his three grandchildren: Geoffrey, Corbin, and Zach. He was a loving husband, father, and grandpa, who made a huge impact on all of their lives.
Jerry also made a huge mark on many thousands of people in his work as a talented civil engineer. He designed and oversaw construction of schools, apartments, and football fields to name a few. He was trusted in his industry to get the job done right. His advice to anyone wanting to get ahead in business was, “Silence is golden. Shut up and get rich!”
Throughout his life he has always been a jokester with a mischievous personality. Jerry made others laugh, he was always looking for that cold beer and just enjoying life to the fullest with his close friends. Jerry loved catching the big fish, and always would lend a helping hand to others in the same pursuit. He had a huge playlist of music, and if there was one song that described Jerry’s spirit and approach to life, it would be Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf. There was always the smell of smoke from the pit and his music playing in the background at every social gathering and party.
He left an indelible mark on everyone he met, and he will be dearly missed by all. His spirit lives on in all of those he touched, and will never be forgotten. To honor Jerry’s life, a tree and garden will be planted in his place of retirement, Sargent, Texas.
What we know is Jerry would ask you to grab a cold one, throw some ribs on the grill, crank up the music, enjoy life, and keep it between the ditches!
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