Betty M. Hughes, 76, departed to be with the Lord on June 22, 2008t at The Meadows. 

Celebration of life will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 26, in Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Officiating will be the Rev. Scott McIntosh.

Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 25. 

A native of New Mexico, she was a member of the Order of the Rainbow for Girls as a youth and Order of the Eastern Star as an adult. She worked at Sandia Base, Albuquerque, where she had Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Q-clearance (highest possible for a civilian) and won awards for efficiency and for suggesting improvements to the work process.

Betty was very active in the First Baptist Church of Albuquerque and, as a member of the Training Union, she met her future husband, William T. “Bill” Hughes. Their move to Orange coincided with the arrival of Hurricane Audrey and her in-laws. As a member of FBC, she frequently hosted parties for her Sunday school group and worked Vacation Bible School as well as Women’s Mission Union (WMU).

Betty’s dedication to her daughters was evident as she became a Blue Bird and Campfire Girl leader, organizing events and tours such as a tour of the Dr. Pepper Bottling Co. in Orange.

Additionally, she was a member of the PTA and a room mother at Little Cypress and Mauriceville schools. At First Baptist Church of Mauriceville, she was a Sunday school teacher and Training Union leader. To keep life interesting and fun, Betty and family became members of the Fun Traveler’s Club; going camping every other month and at least one week during the summer. When her husband retired, the couple moved to San Antonio for 10 years then returned to Orange, where Betty took par in Women on Mission and the senior’s covered dish dinners at North Orange Baptist. Betty’s green thumb has blessed many friends and acquaintances with her ability to grow a plant from cuttings & leaves.

Strong and valiant with a sweet, gentle spirit who befriended everyone, she was a two-time survivor of breast cancer. In 2003, she recognized symptoms which led to a formal diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Upon receiving this news, Betty laid the foundation for how she wanted her medical care to be handled, both for early and late stages of the disease. She led a full life after being diagnosed and was able to live at home until two months before her passing.

She was preceded in death by her parents, sister, and brother.
In addition to her husband, survivors include her daughters, Kathleen Tandberg and husband James of Orange; Janette Hill and husband Jimmy of Dayton; grandsons Jason Hill of Dayton and James Hill of Cleveland; one aunt, Grace Findley Martin of Littlefield, Texas. The family extends special thanks to Dr. Chen-Hah, Dr. Achilles, Mrs. Pat Crawford, Dr. Yu, Dr. Bast at M.D. Anderson and the staff at The Meadows and Odyssey Healthcare Hospice. 

Memorial contributions may be sent in her name to: R.B. Thieme Jr. Bible Ministries, P.O. Box 460829, Houston, 77056-8829 (the source of our spiritual nourishment for nearly 40 years); or Many Waters Mission, 3 Road 6820, Waterflow, N.M. 87421 (mission to Navajos in the Four Corners region of New Mexico; Ricky and La Vern Sterling of Orange are missionaries there).