Betty Carolyn Jordan Richards, 87, passed away on June 12, 2022 in her home in the presence of her loving children. She was born in a log house on a farm in Toombs County, Georgia on September 6, 1934 and later her mother Alma Cleatus NeeSmith Jordan and father William Earlie Jordan moved to the town of Lyons, GA during her childhood years. She was the first born of five children and was instrumental in helping care for her younger brothers and sisters. They fondly called her ‘Sister’, and that nickname stuck with her for the rest of her life. Betty attended Lyons High School and graduated in 1952 with a class of sixteen. She was thrilled to return to Georgia several times for high school class reunions with her brother Marion. Betty then moved to Augusta, GA to attend Draughn’s Business School where she specialized in accounting and bookkeeping. She went to work for the Railroad and then married Ted Coats, the father of her four children, in 1956. They lived and worked in Augusta while raising their family until Ted died of cancer in January 1966. Betty then relocated to McAllen, TX with her children to be with her parents for the next five years, followed by a subsequent move to Albuquerque, NM in 1971 to live near her brother Marion. She lived in her Albuquerque home for the remaining 51 years of her life. She was fortunate to rely on the support of her parents and brother Marion while dedicating her life to care for, love, and support her kids.
Betty worked for the Social Security Administration in Albuquerque, starting as a data entry operator in 1973 and later becoming a supervisor until she retired in 1998. She married her second husband, James F. Richards, in 1975 and they remained married for 34 years until his death in 2009. Betty was very active in her faith as a member of Central United Methodist Church. She loved to sing in the choir as a soprano, joined the Partnership Sunday School class, was active in the Lydian Guild women’s group, and often volunteered for Vacation Bible School. She also enjoyed playing the piano and had great fun with square dancing and line dancing. She was genuinely the happiest when she could have family members around her to discuss everyday life.
Betty is survived by her children Steven G. (Linda) Coats, Randy J. Coats, Mark A. (Jennifer) Coats, Debbie E. (Mark) Gerner, grandchildren Tess Coats, Brittany Coats, Rachel Coats, Megan Gerner, Collin Gerner, Mallory Gerner, Alexandra Gerner, Olivia Gerner, brother H. Angus Jordan, sisters Peggy Wycoff and Dr. Wanda Bedinghaus. She is predeceased by her parents Earlie and Cleatus and brother Dr. W. Marion Jordan.
Visitation will occur at FRENCH - Lomas at 10500 Lomas Blvd. NE on June 17 at 1:00 to 3:00 PM. Funeral service will occur at Central United Methodist Church on July 14 at 10:30 AM, followed by a reception and then burial at Santa Fe National Cemetery the same day at 2:30 PM.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Central United Methodist Church are welcome.