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Bette Ann Jacobs Bright (Woods)

June 9, 1929 — June 2, 2024

Little Rock

Bette Ann Jacobs Bright (Woods)

With a never ending circle of love from family and friends, Bette Bright (Woods) crossed over to be with God and her husband, Jess “Woody” Woods on June 2, 2024.

Bette (original birth certificate was spelled Betty) was born to Ansel Dee “Buster” Jacobs and Okla Faye Buchanan Jacobs on June 9, 1929 in Hunt, AR.  Bette was raised in Lamar, AR where her parents owned and operated Jacobs Trading Post, a grocery store and gas station. Bette was often seen working alongside her parents, took pride in the fact her mother, Okla, was said to be the “smartest woman in Johnson County” and was appreciative of not having an allowance and being trusted to take her spending money directly from the store’s cash register.

Bette was called “Ann” by her school friends until she graduated from Lamar High School, where she excelled in English and Literature. Her curfew was 11pm and when she missed it her mother came to get her.  Rumor has it that only happened once due to her embarrassment. Bette was currently recognized as the oldest living alumni of Lamar High School.

Bette and her parents attended the Lamar Methodist Church, where she was very involved in Youth Group. At a young age, Bette was referred to as a people person, with a quick wit and a touch of sassy. She poured out her love for the Lord and others in perpetual pitchers.

Bette’s love for a perfectly made face, exquisite clothes, the outdoors and growing flowers all came from her mother. Her “knack of making money out of anything she touched” and love of driving “nice” cars came from her father, who was known to always drive the best car in Lamar. Her father taught Bette to drive when she was twelve and bought her a convertible in her teens. Yes, he spoiled her!

To further her primary and secondary educations, Bette attended College of the Ozarks in Clarksville, AR. Settling in Little Rock as an adult, Bette worked for a local drugstore, met and married Charles E Bright, Jr. and they had one daughter, Amber D’Ann.

Amber’s friends adored Bette! She treated all of them as if they were her own and everyone loved to gather at the Bright house for get togethers in junior high, high school and when home from college. She was funny, loving, definitely stern if needed and wanted “everyone to have a good time” at all events. Many remember her designing a “bean bag” room in their home for Amber’s friends in the 1970s because that was the “in” thing for young people. Over the last fifty years, Amber’s friends would often visit Bette, always hoping she would throw in some of her “Betteisms” they remembered from years gone by.

During the early 1960s, Bette became an intricate participator in Woodys Catering Service and later Woodys Sherwood Forest. She and Jess “Woody” Woods were the Johnny Cash and June Carter of the catering and convention service business.  The couple took their unique culinary skills throughout Arkansas, many other states and even a few countries. During this time they fell in love, eventually married and remained inseparable until Woody’s death in 2018. Bette’s love for Woody was seen in her continuing his tradition started in 1974, handing out real two dollar bills with John 3:16 and their signature. Together they carried out this tradition of giving back some of their good fortune for fifty (50) years!

Traveling inside and outside of the United States frequently with the Shrine, National Guard Community Council, with family or with friends - Padre Island, TX and St. Petersburg, FL remained two of Bette’s most favorite vacation spots.

Once retired, Bette enjoyed hostessing over 100 guests at her lake house in Hot Springs, at least twice a year. She and Woody always had a theme for each party with an abundance of food & drink.  Family and friends could walk in the front gate or dock their boat behind the house knowing frozen margaritas were always on tap in the gazebo! Having their Box on the Finish Line at Oaklawn brought many years of horse racing enjoyment, placing her $6 across bets while splitting a cold beer and a corned beef sandwich with Woody. Bette also enjoyed spending time in her Little Rock penthouse and condominiums in Branson, MO and Tampa, FL over the years.

Bette’s love for holidays meant decorations throughout her homes and seasonal cards in your mailbox.  A classy lady, she always wrote a handwritten note or card upon receiving a gift, to comfort a friend or celebrate other’s milestones.

Bette’s strength and endurance at 94 years of age allowed her to never miss her weekly hair salon appointment at Quapaw Cutters, hostess a festive 2023 Christmas party in her penthouse and cheer this past season for both the Arkansas Razorbacks, where her daughter graduated college and the Mississippi State Bulldogs, where her son-in-law and eldest grandson graduated college. She was often seen in her Razorback shirt ringing her MSU cowbell! Go Hogs! Go Dawgs!

Bette shared the most important lesson her parents taught her with her daughter, grandsons and anyone else needing financial advice. Her parents once told her, “Never buy anything on credit! If you can’t pay for it, you don’t need it!” She led by example, buying a new vehicle approximately every three years, always paying cash!

Bette was known to be a firecracker! She exemplified American values- sparkling like the 4th of July, with always a great outlook and smarts that everyone who knew her gravitated to for her wisdom at one time or another.  

Although extremely patriotic, Bette chose bright green and bright orange as her signature colors, always adding extra sparkle to the bling when accessorizing her outfits.  Her days often ended with a glass of Chardonnay while watching Wheel of Fortune with friends.

Bette often said, “Through choices I make my own life and it is beautiful.” Then she would stick her tongue out a little bit while grinning, wrinkle her nose and say, “Pretty soon everybody will want a life just like mine!”

Bette was preceded in death by her parents, her stepfather, Finis L. Overbey, Amber’s father, Charles “Charlie” Bright Jr. and her husband, best friend and soulmate, Jess “Woody” Woods.

Bette, also known as Mother, MawMaw, and Bootsy, is survived by her only child, Amber Bright White (Johnny); grandsons, Jacobs “Jake” Overbey Clemons (Erica) and Charles Everett “Rett” Moore Clemons; great granddaughter,  Elleryn “Elle” Grace Clemons.  In addition, Bootsy was anxiously awaiting the upcoming birth of her first great grandson, Buchanan “Buc” Everett Clemons next month. Bette’s transition to Heaven also leaves behind Woody’s three children and his grandson; as well as many other relatives and friends she called family.

Being the people magnet Bette was, it would take pages to thank each of you involved in loving and caring for her over the past few months. You know who you are, she loved you so and her family is grateful to each of you!

A graveside service will be held at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery, 1501 West Maryland Avenue, North Little Rock, AR, 72120.  The service will be on Friday, June 14, 2024, at 11:00 am, under the direction of Larry R. Carpenter, Evangelist & Family Friend.

All friends and family are welcome to celebrate Bette’s life at Rosie’s Pot & Kettle (the former Flight Deck Restaurant at Central Flying Service) 2301 Crisp Drive, Little Rock, AR. Join us at noon, immediately following the graveside service. Bring your recollections of our precious Bette. We will pray, cry, laugh and hear from family and friends whom Bette adored, and of course, we will have food & drink.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Lamar Methodist Church, c/o Treasurer, PO Box 415, Lamar, AR 72846; to the Johnson County Historical Society, P.O Box 2107,Clarksville, AR 72830 or to the Tupelo Regional Rehabilitation Center, 615 Pegram Drive, Tupelo, MS. 38801

Arrangements entrusted to Smith Little Rock Funeral Home.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bette Ann Jacobs Bright (Woods), please visit our flower store.
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Past Services

Graveside Service

Friday, June 14, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Friday, June 14, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Rosie's Pot & Kettle Cafe

2301 Crisp Dr, Little Rock, AR 72202

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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