Mrs. Betty Gean Ritter, 75, of Newport, Arkansas, passed from this life into the presence of the Lord on Sunday, March 31, 2019. She was born on April 21, 1943 in Independence County, Arkansas, the daughter of John and Ollie Arnold, and married Mr. Leon Ritter on May 5, 1967.
Betty was formed into the family of God in August of 1955, serving the Lord 63 years in a Missionary Baptist Church. She was a lifelong worker, beginning in the field at age 3, picking cotton. Betty continued this type of work until she graduated high school in 1962. After graduating, she worked at Hays Abstract Company, two shoe factories, Federal Compress, American Lantern, the Newport High School cafeteria, and the Newport Independent, while also mowing yards and throwing a paper route.
Betty and her husband, Leon, never missed a ballgame or church activity for either of their children. They served their community by displaying a vast array of Christmas lights yearly. Betty also worked with the youth of the church many years writing programs, and going to youth camps. In her early years, she served as a teacher, and most recently served as Sunday School Secretary for the past 11 years.
She loved her grandchildren, and prayed for them daily. She enjoyed quilting, sewing, and loved going to the Newport Senior Center, playing bingo, walking on the treadmill, and helping out wherever she could. Betty took great delight in helping others, going to local food banks, visiting the people there, and receiving the food that was distributed seemed to brighten her day.
She was an avid supporter of the Newport Greyhounds, coming out rain or shine, with Brenda Pry and Vonda White. Most importantly, she loved time spent with her family, friends, and her dog, Thunder.
Betty was preceded in death by her husband of 34 years, Leon Ritter; her parents; two brothers , Mark and Bill Arnold; one sister, Mary Nell Mooney; and infant twins, AB and Linda Ruth Arnold.
She is survived by one son, Lance Ritter and wife, Nancy, of Paragould, Arkansas; one daughter, Tiffney Vowell and husband, Aaron, of Brookland, Arkansas; five grandchildren, Isaiah Edward Ritter of Paragould, Elijah Lance Ritter of Paragould, Addyson Lynn Vowell, Colben David Vowell, and Kyson Ritter Vowell, all of Brookland; two sisters, Helen Bennett of Tuckerman, and Vonda White and husband, Ronnie, of Newport; one sister-in-law, Mary Arnold of Hickory Grove; one brother-in-law, Gene Mooney of Jonesboro; a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins; and a multitude of friends.
Friends may visit at Central Missionary Baptist Church Tuesday Evening, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Funeral services are 10:00 a.m. Wednesday at the Church, with interment following at Walnut Grove Cemetery.
Those honored to serve as pallbearers are Isaiah Ritter, Elijah Ritter, Aaron Vowell, Jerry Gates, Anthony Gates, Stanley Haigwood, Malcolm Haigwood, and Dennis Haigwood. Honorary pallbearers are W.H. Pry, Colben Vowell, and Kyson Vowell.
Arrangements by Jackson’s Newport Funeral Home.