Bette June Chumley Southerland, 90, passed from this earth on Friday, April 6, 2018 in Bryan Texas in the home of her son Mike Southerland. She was in the medical care of Hospice Brazos Valley and under the daily dedicated care of Visiting Angels, Bryan Texas. From her birth in Gillam La in North West Louisiana in the cotton fields among the growing oil fields, until her death on Friday she was an absolute wonderful influence on her family and friends. She was the greatest example for anyone that wants to live a caring loving happy life.
She graduated from Oil City High School during World War II and married Bud Southerland at wars end in 1945.
In a sea of family members who are very high strung, Bette was the practical sense that could keep them all on an even keel. She served as the light to all. The oldest of four children, head strong and decisive, she was often labeled bossy. Had she been a boy, she would have simply been called the eldest. A graduate of Oil City, La High School, she was a valedictorian and DAR award recipient. She was an avid reader and lover of music including the Glenn Miller Band, Don Williams, and Andy Griffith all of whom she enjoyed listening to up until her death. She was a volunteer for Shumpert Medical Center and a whiz at finance who could always tell you the price of oil. (62.06) When you asked her to name an individual who was her hero, she would tell you Franklin Delano Roosevelt and that World War II was one of the most challenging times in her life that would help to define her.
As wife (54 years) and mother, she spent years living a gypsy life moving multiple times which was an ‘adventure’ to her and served to strengthen her natural born assertiveness. Eventually, she settled in Houma, Louisiana with her husband and two children just long enough to allow them to attend high school. She was smart, resourceful, patient, and had a warm, sometimes mischievous smile. She was a perfect example of her generation: stalwart, steadfast, earnest, and forgiving.
Bette dreamed as a child of being her on boss and she proclaimed she was. She also followed some major principles in her life take nothing for granted, cherish your family, and recognize contentment. She self-described her life as committed to her good husband and children. She wanted her children to be educated and they are. Bette’s view of her life is summed up in her statement, “I got all I ever wanted.”
She is preceded in death by her mother Susan Powell Chumley, her father Dee Chumley of Oil City, Louisiana, her husband C.B. Southerland, and a sister Rose Mary Chumley Smith of Seaford, Maryland.
She is survived by her sister Joan Chumley Robison of Mobile and brother Delbert Chumley and wife Shelia of Shreveport.
Left to honor her memory and to continue her example of life are her children Patsy Southerland Rodriguez of Houma, La. and Mike Southerland and wife Tana of Bryan, Tx. To remember her loving ways are four grandchildren, Ty Southerland and wife Theresa, Mick Southerland and Meghan, Matt Southerland and wife Madeline and Kelly Susan Rodriguez and five great-grandchildren Jett, Ava, Miles, Gavin and Wilder. She loved and was blessed to have numerous other family members and many friends. She was a long-time member of Trinity Heights Baptist Church in Shreveport.
Grave side services will be held in Shreveport La. in the Forest Park Cemetery, Wed, April 11, at 10:00 am. Arrangements are being made by Callaway Jones funeral home and Bryan Tx.
Our deepest gratitude goes to the staff at Scott and White, especially Doctor Barrow for his wonderful care and concern. Also, the staff from Visiting Angels and especially Angela who made Mothers last few months on earth as pleasant loving and comfortable was possibly.
Bette’s final medical was provided by Hospice Brazos Valley. She could not have had better care. The staff was so very comforting in every way, thank you all. Please send memorials to Hospice Brazos Valley, 502 W 26th Street, Bryan TX 77803.