Betty (Themema) *UPDATED*

Dear ‘Bloomr family,

I am writing to ask you all for prayers for our beloved Betty. As you know, she had massive, landmark heart surgery after the first of the year, and against all odds has been fighting her way back, with various ups and downs. I have talked to her daughter Judy twice this morning, and things have taken a very serious turn for the worse. She is unconscious on a ventilator, with pneumonia and a sepsis bacterial infection all through her body. Her kidneys have failed and she has been on dialysis for weeks now, but this recent turn of events has been critical. Momma Lloyd and LindaB are just two of the many readers here who are dear friends with Betty, and our hearts are hurting. Please join us in praying for God’s will for her life, and if this is her time to go that it will be a gentle crossing. Betty is an extraordinary woman, crackling with energy and passion, scrappy, intelligent and loving, and the biggest fan of Southern gospel music (and especially Russ) I have ever met. Here are a couple of pictures of her sweet face, so you will know who you are praying for.

Thank you for being the kind of readers that I can turn to in a time like this. I love you all– and Betty does, too.

I’ll keep you posted.

Dearest G-netters,
We lost our Betty tonight. Russ and I join with all of you who loved her and will miss her inimitable spirit, fire, compassion and friendship. She was a pistol– I’m so glad we got to enjoy her as long as we did!
Godspeed, sweetest Betty. I bet by now you’ve elbowed your way to the front row of the best gospel concert heaven has to offer– hope you’re ready to work Russ’ table again when he gets there!
See you at at the house, dear friend.
With all of our love, Russ and Tori

25 Responses

  1. Barbara M. Lloyd

    If you were to meet Betty, the first thing you would notice is her marvelous smile…it lights up the room when she comes in. She has the gift of service and of giving….and possesses so much wisdom. You don’t have to even ask, because our Betty has an opinion on everything…but, then, I think that’s what makes her an interesting person. I’m continuing to pray for her healing….but, most of all, I want God’s Will

    Gracious, while I was typing this, Betty’s husband called to say that the nurse is saying Betty is improving a little. Dennis asked that we all please keep praying. They will have been married 50 years in June.

  2. rachelbaker

    Praying really hard for Betty and for her family. I’m also praying for those of you who are close to her.

    I have to admit that until I finally de-lurked here, and discovered certain parts of gaithercommunity I was a huge sceptic about the possibility of developing friendships through cyberspace. After all how can you get to know people you have never even met? I have been proved well and truly wrong, and themema was one of the key people in changing my mind. She is truly one of the most encouraging, supportive, incisive and witty people I know, even if I don’t ‘really’ know her.

  3. Busymom

    I’m so sorry. Prayers for Betty and her family.

  4. MostlySunny

    As soon as I saw the title of this blog piece I knew it wasn’t going to be good. So, definitely praying for “our Betty”. Please keep us posted, not just about Betty and her family, but Nashville and your aching back. Golly, I want to just come over and do something! But that would take a while, so I will just pray right here. Love to all…God knows…

  5. LindaB

    Betty passed away tonight at 9. I can’t believe that she’s really gone. I loved her so much. She was a gift to me and she gave me so much joy. She’s one of the most interesting women I’ve ever met—–so knowledgeable in so many areas, but never arrogant or show off-y. And she possessed a compassion that took in everyone she met. Whenever you had a problem, she knew just exactly what to say, and how to help. And she did it! I miss her already.

    I’m praying for her family tonight—-their loss is overwhelming, I’m sure.

    We love you, Betty! (I wonder if she can read your blog in Heaven, Tori, ’cause I know she wouldn’t want to miss it.)

  6. jonny

    Sorry for your loss, LB, and anyone else justifiably missing her, grateful for Heaven’s gain.


  7. bettyrwoodward

    Betty certainly did seem like a friend on here and the Gaither community. She is now with her Lord and enjoying His presence free from all her limitations. She is probably singing Southern Gospel right now in praise to Him.
    Our prayers go to all her family and those who knew her personally.

  8. gracelynn

    Our loss is heaven’s gain. Betty, you will be missed. You were a great friend and sister in Him. God has called another one of His children home. Prayers are going up for the family and esp. for you Tori, Russ, Momma Lloyd and Linda.

  9. suesilverstein

    Betty was a sweet woman! In addition to her family, my heart and prayers go out to you, Russ, Momma Lloyd and LindaB. I know how much she meant to each of you!

  10. delightedabroad

    Just feeling so sorry for all of you who have lost such a dear friend. I didn’t get to know her so well myself but I seem to be able to feel your grieve “through cyberspace”. So I’ll continue praying.

  11. MostlySunny

    Got up this morning and had time to log on…Oh my! I’m getting ready to go to worship and realized that “our Betty’s” faith is now sight. She knows so much more about our LORD than we do and is worshiping in that great multitude in heaven today.

    What is it like, Betty, to see Him face to face? To be in His presence? To know?

    I’m so sorry for all of you who knew who her personally and for her family.

  12. jonny

    And she has all eternity keep seeing, knowing. I believe He is eternally New, and even though we’ll have all eternity with Him, I believe it will be an eternity of continual discovery bliss. She’s now got a decent head start on all of us, bless her wonderfully redeemed heart = )

  13. belinda

    Praying for all the friends and family of this dear lady who has touched so many lives. She will be missed.
    See you at the house, Betty. She is there checking it all out.

  14. swerchon

    Praying for Betty’s family and friends for their loss of this sweet lady. Grateful for Heaven’s gain – Betty is now walking on gold paved streets and soaking her feet in the crystal sea and on her way to her MANSION.

  15. rachelbaker

    Praying for Betty’s family and all those of you who were close to her.

    Her battle is over, and now she has wholeness and well-earned rest.

  16. meb

    Dear Tori, Russ & all of Betty’s friends and family. I am so sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with all of you at this time.

  17. jonny

    I lit a prayer candle tonight at mass for her and all those hurting right now as a result of her passing.


  18. LindaB

    Thank you, Jonny. Ya know, for a rock star, you’re a pretty nice fella!

  19. jonny

    Must be the blog company I keep = / Actually, I just did a “themema” search here on ‘bloomr and was re-reading old Say it!s of hers. Knowing more about her condition back then, I’m impressed she took a teenage girl with no ‘off switch,’ alone, to the last Gaither Alaska cruise, and sat outside two hours on a bench with no back rest so she could be up front and center during one of the performances!! I’m guessing Tori and ol’ Russel are grateful they were able to help her out back then when God presented wonderful opportunities to do so = )

  20. LindaB

    Betty was a “thrifty” shopper! She’d scour second hand shops and Good Will stores to find that perfect bargain! She was never pretentious or demanding. But……when she went to a gospel music concert, she would only settle for front row seats! And she’d turn heaven and earth upside down to find them!!! Spend whatever it took to get them! It was her one extravagance! She loved that music so much, she was compelled to get as close to it as she could!

  21. jonny

    Thanks so much for sharing that, LB = )


    Awwwww…..Well, wait a minute – with tears in my eyes – I AM PRAISING GOD THAT ANOTHER SAINT HAS GONE HOME! GLORY!!!!! SHE IS WHERE I WANT TO BE – WHERE I PRESS & STRIVE TO BE EACH & EVERY DAY – SHE HAS ACHIEVED THE PRIZE!!!!!HALLELUJAH, JESUS – SHE IS WITH YOU – WHERE I WANT TO BE!!! I will miss her here – I felt like I really knew her! But, I WILL TRULY MEET HER IN praying for her family & their peace in God through this.

    TORI -HOW ARE YOU FEELN? Now ya kinda know how Pip felt, huh? sorta, anyway……



  24. Phyllis R

    Russ, Tori, Madi, Char and all that loved Betty. I am so sorry for your loss. I pray for comfort.

  25. GRITSinNC

    I’m so sorry for all you who lost a dear friend. I wish I had known her. How wonderful to be as highly thought of by so many as she was.

    Tori, Russ, Momma Lloyd…you’re especially in my thoughts & prayers. Barbara, I hope the trip won’t be too much for you and that you’ll return home in peace that you were able to go and see that Betty is truly at peace now…no more suffering, but in the comfort of her Heavenly home.

    My sympathies to all family & friends.

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