Betty (Betsy) Jo Sims Birdwell was born on May 19, 1927 in Houston, Texas to Albert J. Sims and Amy Elizabeth Kelly Sims. She graduated from Milby High School, Houston, Texas in May1945.
Betty (Betsy) attended Texas State College for Women (now Texas Women’s University) in Denton, Texas for two semesters. She moved back to Houston to work and attend University of Houston. There she met her future husband, Jerry H. Birdwell, Jr. at University of Houston, and they were married in 1947. They lived in Houston where they started a family with sons Randall J. Birdwell and Timothy P. S. Birdwell, until 1955 then moving to New Orleans in 1956 and Memphis in 1957, before returning to Texas where they settled in Bryan in 1958.
Mrs. Birdwell was a sister, mother, grandmother and a great grandmother, and was active in her community. She has an eclectic range of interests including: cooking, recipe collecting, family genealogy, gardening, music (flute, piano, & organ), painting, variety of crafts, bridge, ancient civilizations, American Indian art, and Asian artifacts, among others. She took an occasional course at Texas A&M University. Betsy often wrote letters to the editor of the local newspaper, Bryan/College Station Eagle on a variety of topics.
Mrs. Birdwell started the “Broadmoor Belles”, for the neighborhood women on Broadmoor Drive and surrounding streets. They met monthly in homes or local restaurants for 20+ years. She was active at the Brazos County Senior Center in Bryan, Texas over 15 years.
Her passion for food, cooking and entertaining lead to writing “Kitchen Chronicles: A Texas Woman’s Life Told Through Recipes”. She acquired recipes from friends, relatives, clients, strangers, and inns by the wayside. Some were requested from a chef or invented from a taste memory encountered at an eating place enjoyed on our travels. She and her husband traveled in the United States and Internationally. She also had the privilege of becoming friends with many people from different countries who came to Bryan/College Station, Texas to work or attend Texas A&M University. She shared stories of cooking for James Galway and Itzhak Perlman. Jerry’s brother Edward a renowned horn player and member of the American Brass Quintet, was a regular, as were band members.
Betty (Betsy) Birdwell was a “mother to all” and was a fighter until the end. She is preceded in death by her husband, Jerry H. Birdwell, Jr., her father, Albert J. Sims, mother, Amy Elizabeth Kelly Sims, and her only brother Harrison Kelly Sims. She leaves Randall Birdwell and his wife Susan, Timothy Birdwell and his wife Joan, step-grandchildren Brandon Lovan, Garret Lovan and wife Hannah, Kristen Blevins and her husband Neal, and Jillian Olson. Evie Lovan is her only great-granddaughter, daughter of Garret and Hannah. Mrs. Birdwell is the last of her generation of the Sims/Kelly family, leaving behind nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Memorial Services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, January 25, 2019, at Callaway-Jones Funeral Center, 3001 S. College Ave., Bryan, Texas 77801 with Rev. Tommy Myrick, of Christ United Methodist Church, College Station, officiating.