Betty Jane Smythe
Betty Jane Smythe, aka “The Pie Lady,” was born Betty Jane Basye on June 6, 1922, on the Basye Farm in Howard County, Mo. She left this planet for her next great adventure on Jan. 5, 2013. She and her identical twin sister, Billie Ann, weighed less than five pounds together and were not expected to make it through their first night. Her grandmother, against all odds, put the two of them in a shoe box and placed them on a warm wood stove. In the morning, the doctor asked what time they had died. He was surprised to hear they fought to stay alive and Betty Jane kept on fighting for the next 90 years.
Betty Jane married Howard M. Smythe in 1946 when he was just getting out of the Navy. Howard served in World War II and was at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. Betty Jane was fiercely patriotic her entire life and always took time to honor veterans. She was very proud of the service to this country given by Howard, her two brothers, nephews, sons-in-law, and many of her friends. She was a lifetime member of the Bishop Chapter of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
She was a longtime member of the Daughter’s of the American Revolution, joining first in Montgomery, Ala. and then transferring her membership to Bishop. She served as Registrar for years and helped many people with their DAR membership. She actively practiced genealogy until just a few months before her death.
Betty Jane enjoyed membership in the Huguenot Society, the Bishop Food for Thought Book Club, Exchangettes of Inglewood, the California Professional Hypnotist Association, Soroptimist International of Inglewood and Riverside, the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW, and the DAR of the Palisades Glacier.
She loved people and people loved her. She enjoyed baking pies, selling pies and eating pies. Her favorite pie was whatever fruit was given to her that day. She loved gardening and became a Master Gardener in Alabama in 1998. She grew more than 150 varieties of Iris. Prior to her dedication as a genealogist, pie maker and gardener, Betty Jane was a bookkeeper, salesperson, print shop manager, hypnotherapist, tea leaf reader and psychic. She had a great sense of humor.
She is survived by her five children, Vivian Patterson and husband Dave, Berneta Titus and husband Tim, Dorothy White, Larry Smythe and partner Mishele Bay and Stacye Basye; her brother, Ben Basye; as well as five grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Betty Jane believed in giving to others. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Chapman Hospice, 6936 Palm Ave., Riverside, CA 92506 or to your favorite charity.
A celebration of life for Betty Jane will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 at the home of Vivian and Dave Patterson.
Please contact the family for details at (760) 872-3353.