MEMORIES OF BETTY DUPRIEST
BY HER SON MICHAEL DUPRIEST
August 18, 1937 – January 9, 2021
This date January 12, 2021
I am her son Michael DuPriest writing this for Mom to the best of my recollection from my past conversations with her, implicit and explicit memories.
Betty Ann DuPriest was born August 18, 1937 in Conway Arkansas. She was a graduate of North Little Rock High School 1955. She married Johnny Roy DuPriest May 26 1955 following his return from the Korean War. She had 3 children Cecil Michael DuPriest, Peggy Renee DuPriest, and Vicki Ann DuPriest. Her second child Peggy Ann was still born and is buried at Oak Grove Cemetery Conway Arkansas. She assumed guardianship of Kati Marie in 1990 and adopted Kati in 2001; my Mom had a significant important impact on Kati’s life providing a loving home, guidance and support. She worked at Arkansas Farm Bureau for about 30 years serving as mail room supervisor retiring at age 67.
Memories I have of Mom in childhood that I believe had a significant impact on my life, though seemingly trite are teaching me to play chess, tennis lessons, guitar lessons, buying me a chemistry set, Erector Set, supporting my model rocketry adventures, riding bicycles, and a work ethic. She was there for me when I was 18 years old during a time, I made very poor choices. She said some hard words to me that I never forgot and I internalized those words to remind myself of the life I knew she wanted for me. I worked hard to honor her and make her proud of her son; I hope and I think I did. Something she told me several years ago and at the time seemed axiomatic, in other words I assumed that’s what we adults do was this statement……” you took responsibility for yourself.” When I think back on her life experiences, at least the ones I am aware of, the import of those words is a distillation of a basic foundational principle that reflects her experiences both negative and positive. Yet those words, those memories and the Grace of a Loving God proved transformative.
I also remember during my time stationed in Germany from 1975-1977 of me and her talking on the phone each Christmas; she would call from my grandparents’ house. That was a long 2 ½ years out of country and will never forget when her, my grandparents and a few other relatives came to the LR airport to pick me up in 1977; she was so proud to see me. On the funny side I recall how everyone had such strong southern accent, including Mom.
I remember when I married Carrie, during my time in college at UCA, chiropractic college in St Louis, and when I started my practice in 1988, she was there to support. I know Carrie considers my mom to be an incredible mother-in-law; she indeed was amazing and never interfered in our relationship. The first time my mother met Carrie she told me how much she liked her and that I had found the one.
As a grandparent to my children Aimee and Ashlee, Mom had to balance being a Mom and a grandparent simultaneously. To do this was not an easy task and fraught with difficult decisions and conflicts that are foreign to me, but she managed this to the best of her ability and resources; I personally think she did these duties quite well.
It’s a dog’s life. The first dog I ever remember was when we lived on 21st street off Pike Avenue. His name was Tiger and I don’t think she liked that dog. The little fellow would run around our back yard and swing on clothes she had hung on the clothes line; not a very endearing trait to say the least. I was probably 3 years old and remember going to the backyard and Tiger was gone; at the time I thought the dog moved out taking his dog house, at least that’s what my Mom told me. Moving forward out of my childhood brings to mind Taffy, Bridgett, Angel, Savvy, and Blair. Taffy and Bridgett go back to when her parents, my grandfather and grandmother, were still alive. Angel, or as Kati would say was a top-shelf dog, had a long life with mom and Kati. Savvy and Blair are more recent, but have excellent parents in Kati and Dalton; I am sure they will figure in out the dog-parenting.
We can’t forget the one cat I recall in mom’s home. My grandmother Petie acquired this cat; her name was Ida Red and she was somewhat misbehaved, actually downright mean. I remember one incident where she attacked my sister Vicki from the backside. I cannot recall much about Ida Red from that time forward.
Mom loved her mom Petie and her dad Cecil immeasurably. My grandpa Cecil, who was not her dad, probably raised my mom from her adolescence. I remember when mom’s dad did come visit her in his older age, she made it clear who was really her dad. My Grandmother Petie and mom were very close and likely saw each other most days of the week; they had a very special relationship that continued into the nursing home days for Grandma Petie.
With age Mom grew to love exercise going to Silver Sneakers in North Little Rock 3 x per week on a consistent basis.
She regularly attended Ruth Class at Faith Baptist Church in North Little Rock.
She considered Alfreda Moody, Beverly Williams, and Bobbie Ann Jackson (deceased) as sisters.
She liked dancing demonstrating her skills at Kati and Daltons wedding.
She enjoyed the occasional, actually a lot of shopping sprees.
Painted her nails every Sunday.
She loved reading, jigsaw puzzles, and crossword puzzles, Jeopardy, and Wheel of Fortune. Interesting she passed away
Loved Coca Cola and enjoyed one toward the end.
We will miss her sweet tea and also the fudge she made every Christmas.
The first theme park Mom and Dad took Vicki and I to was Silver Dollar City. We continued this tradition many years taking her, Kati, Aimee and Ashlee.
A trip Mom thoroughly enjoyed was when we went to Vermont and Niagara Falls summer of 2005 for Carrie and I to run the Vermont 100 mile race. We (me, Carrie, Aimee, Ashlee, Mom, and Kati) flew to Buffalo New York, renting a van to drive over to the Green Mountains of Vermont. We stayed at a ski resort, Carrie and I completed the race and after a good night sleep drove to Niagara on the Lake in Canada, a small idyllic town on Lake Ontario. I had rented a house in a neighborhood and every morning I would drive down to Tim Hortons to get us donuts; Mom really liked those Tim Horton maple donuts. I have some wonderful memories of the Niagara Falls, Maid of the Mist, wineries, and the butterfly conservatory with all of us together. She had expressed this was one of her favorite trips.
Home and neighbors. Mom moved to my childhood home in 1959. I never really thought about her age, but she was 21-22 years old and lived in that house until her recent passing. The day before I took her to hospital, she texted her neighbors wishing them a happy 2021; this speaks of her kindness and care for others.
Mom was very organized and forward looking made self-evident as I handle the affairs of her life. I tell others that even in her death she is teaching, guiding and encouraging me on how I should plan for that which is inevitable. Mom I have already started the process; thank you.
She loved our Father God. Thinking about this is interesting as I was concerned about Mom’s faith when I was younger probably because church at one time did not seem important. Having experienced a spiritual awakening as a teenager and growing as a believer in the incredible life changing love of God while in Europe her faith and soul were important to me. Over the years this changed and obvious evidence of her belief, faith, and hope in God emerged. I knew when she was leaving us it would be ok; I knew the Love that awaited her.
Betty Ann DuPriest, 83, of North Little Rock passed away on January 9, 2021.
Visitation will be 4:00 PM, Friday, January 15, 2021 at Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home, with funeral starting at 5:00 PM.
State of AR COVID-19 directives: Face coverings required. Maintain social distancing.
Arrangements by Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home, 1921 Main St, North Little Rock, AR 72114, 501-758-1170.
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