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Memorial for Betty Jo Exum

Born on Apr. 13, 1931
Departed on May 4, 2017 and resided in Cortez, CO.
Service: Wednesday, May 10, 2017
2:00 pm
Cemetery: Cortez Cemetery
Please click on the links above for locations, times, maps, and directions.

Betty Jo Weaver Exum, 86, left this life May 4, 2017 at Vista Grande Nursing Home in Cortez, Colorado. Born April 13, 1931 in rural Nocona, Texas in Montague County to Cordis Lee Weaver and Annie Ethel (Underwood) Weaver. She was the baby of nine children and to this day her birth certificate reads Baby Girl Weaver. Her father was killed when she was 4 years old so she was raised by a single mother. She and her siblings never got to start school when it first started due to the fact that they had to help finish harvesting crops before they could go. Since they always got a late start, school was not as beneficial to them as it might have been otherwise. Because of this, Betty never went past third grade. She was fortunate enough to work as a Mother's Helper for a well-to-do family in town. Her employers took her along to watch their children on trips to New York City and New Orleans. She later went to work for Miss Enid who owned the Nocona Boot Company and Justin Leather Goods. Miss Enid was very exacting and expected Betty to learn how to be a polished young woman, as well as which fork was proper to use, etc. This training was an asset to a girl with her meager beginnings. Betty and her family moved to Cortez, Colorado in 1957 following oil field work. Betty worked as a waitress for Pauline and Marvin Higgins at the Blue Door Cafe and later the Ute Cafe. She also worked several years at the Pony Express Restaurant under Florence Bane. In 1968 Betty married Steve Exum, they had many happy years together. Over the years they had two antique and upholstery shops in Cortez. For a number of years they lived in Mancos, Colorado, in a beautiful old yellow two-story Victorian house with a lot of gingerbread trim. They had a picturesque old barn converted into a shop where they did upholstery, refinished antique furniture and pianos. Betty loved to paint landscapes and portraits and was exceptionally talented in art. She was also a proverbial "Jack of all trades". She could learn to do almost anything, including installing insulation, hanging sheetrock and remodeling everything else in their home. When needed Betty used her old Singer Sewing Machine to reupholster furniture, design drapes and make tuxedos for her grandkids. She had a green thumb. If she ate a piece of fruit with a good flavor, she would plant the seed in a pot and raise her own fruit tree. She was an excellent Southern cook and her sister-in-law often said she could take almost nothing and make a delicious meal out of it! She loved her family and she could never get enough of holding babies! She would take the time to bake cookies, with all of her great- grand kids and grand kids, play with them, and read to them. She loved them dearly. After she learned to paint, she did portraits of the children and of the family. Betty and Steve really enjoyed all the time they spent out at Nunn's Apple Shed. They could belt a song out with the best of them. She was preceded in death by her first husband Richard Dee Keck, her parents, her daughter Janet (Keck) Conner, her brothers Newell Weaver, John Weaver, George Weaver, and A.C. Weaver and sisters Myrtle Reed, Marie Sappington, and Jewell Dean Linn, her daughter-in-law Maxine Keck, and her grandson Micah Gifford. She is survived by her brother Bob Weaver and sister-in-law Millie Jean Weaver of Nocona and her sister-in-law Bonnie Weaver of Snyder, Texas. Her daughters Marsha (Dale) Gifford of Roseville, CA, Landis (Charlie) Porter and Brenda (Rick) O'Brien both of Cortez and her sons Ron Exum of Lubbock, TX and Dick Keck of Cortez, CO. Her grandchildren Michael Exum of Lubbock, TX, Lisa Walker of Cortez, CO, Matthew Gifford of CA, Benjamin Gifford of Malibu, CA, Dustin Porter of Peoria, AZ, Ray Porter of Highlands Ranch, CO, Stephen Porter of Chandler, AZ, Dawn Roof of Cortez, Lucas Keck of Cortez, Celeste Barrios, Brittany Conner and Wendy Pace of Amarillo, TX, D Ray Conner of El Paso, TX. Rafe and Aislynn O'Brien of Cortez. Also by her numerous great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Services will be held at Ertel Funeral Home at 2 p.m. on Wednesday May 10, with a meal to follow at the Empire Electric's Calvin Denton Room.

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