Betty Lawrence Woodard Alexander

Monday, October 7, 2019

Betty Lawrence Woodard Alexander, 86, died Sept. 29, 2019, in Fayetteville. She was born Dec. 13, 1932, to John Lawrence and Mapra Sandusky Woodard of Athlestan in Northeast Arkansas. Betty was a very independent and courageous woman who never met a stranger. She loved anyone she came in contact with and often told them so.

At age 15-1/2, Betty eloped with William Jackson Alexander, Jr. (W.J.) to Hernando, Miss. They were married for 48 years, until his passing in 1996. During their 48 loving years together, they raised seven children that she was very proud of. She would often share stories of each of them and their many accomplishments.

Education was very important to Betty. She believed education was vital, so much so that she went back to high school and graduated at age 33, two years before her eldest son, William. She later went on to attend Arkansas State University to receive her degree in education. She had an unending love for stories and history and shared that love with many students in Luxora, Wilson, Wynne, and Arkansas Northeastern College where she was the librarian.

Betty not only loved education, she loved music as well. It brought her great joy to dance and sing. Music kept her connected to her memories even when Alzheimer's tried to rob her of them. Even towards the end of her life, she was always up for a song whether it was, “You Get a Line, I'll Get a Pole” or “You Are My Sunshine,” she would light up and lead the song.

Above all, family was her biggest treasure. Her marriage to W.J. was a picture of what a true marriage should be. She loved her seven children and her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They each cherish the wonderful times they had with their mother and Granniebea.

She was predeceased by her mom and dad, Lawrence and Mapra Sandusky Woodard; stepmothers, Celeste Woodard and Ola Mae Woodard; stepsiblings, Edward Beardsley, Frances Morgan, Peggy Benefield; and one son, James David Alexander.

She is survived by six children, Dr. William Jackson Alexander, III of Bentonville, Mapra Kathleen Gentry (Bobby) of Benton, Elizabeth Janine Stratton (Joe) of Bentonville, Dr. Eldon Lawrence Alexander (Carolyn) of Seal Beach, Calif., Julia Isabelle Smith, (David) of Benton, and Steven Bradshaw Alexander of Benton; stepbrother, Robert Newton; grandchildren, Kari, Kirk, Heather, Shane, Penny, Lawrence, Priscilla, Charles, Brandi, Jerri Anne, Jonathan, and Blair, as well as many great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Brookstone in Fayetteville for their loving care of “Miss Betty.”

Donations can be made in the memory of Betty Alexander to the LeBonheur Foundation, P.O. 41817, Memphis, TN, 38174, or Wilson Library, #1 Park Street Wilson, AR 72395; or the National Processing Center, Alzheimer's Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, D.C. 20090-6011.

Visitation was held at Wilson Funeral Home from 1 to 2 p.m. Oct. 5. The funeral service was 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at Wilson Funeral Home.