Betty Louise Norwood was born to the late Vivia Mercer and Coy Harris on June 13, 1936 in Whitewright, TX and grew up with her late sister Lanita Grace Decker and late brother Bill Harris. She graduated from Whitewright High School in 1954, where she was Drum Majorette.
Betty married James Norwood in 1956 and had four children; Jeffrey, Jennifer, Tracy, and Timothy. They lived in Illinois, Sherman, TX, and Dallas as part of James’s pilot career. After James unexpectedly passed away, Betty and her children moved to Denton in 1969. She supported her family by working at the University of North Texas, where she was the Assistant to the Department Chairs of the physics and chemistry departments. After 43 years, when she reluctantly retired in 2014 at 78 years old, she was one of the most tenured employees in UNT history. She especially enjoyed planning events and supporting her teams.
Her children remember her as a beautiful, stylish, strong, and caring mother. She kept an open door policy, which meant there was always a house full of family, friends, music, and food. She also cared so much for others, including her late sister Grace through illness, patients at the Denton cancer center, and kids and friends in the community. She was also a breast cancer survivor.
Betty was known as “Nee Nee” to her five grandchildren. She was a devoted grandmother who made each a priority, whether visiting them in Alaska and California, caring for them in Denton, making up sweet nicknames, sending thoughtful gifts, etc. They remember her as loving, spirited, and always making them laugh. She also became a great grandmother to Cole and Bryce, who referred to her as “Great Nee Nee.”
In addition to working and caring for her family, Betty enjoyed writing short stories and poems. She loved the beach, especially trips to South Padre Island and Hawaii, finding bargains, and having long conversations on various patios with family and friends. She was a caring listener, great storyteller, and often a comedian.
Betty passed away peacefully on August 3, 2022 and is survived by her children Jeff Norwood, Jennifer Norwood Kelly (and John Kelly), Tracy Norwood, and Tim Norwood; grandchildren Leia Kelly Vetter (and Nicholas Vetter), Robert Kelly (and Dr. Maria Velez), Caitlin Norwood, Allison Norwood, and Michael Norwood; great grandchildren Cole Vetter and Bryce Vetter.
We will be hosting a “Celebration of Life” for family and friends of Betty Norwood on Saturday, September 10th at 11am at the UNT Union Building, Room 382.