Mercedes- Betty Jane (Meyer) Sparrow passed away Saturday, March 10, 2018, at age 82, after a brief illness. Because of her belief in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, she is now healed and residing in Heaven. Betty was a beloved wife, a caring mother and cherished grandmother. Her steadfast dedication to spreading the Gospel and serving God by providing aid and support to missionaries will influence and impact lives of those in her family and those outside of her family for generations to come.
Betty Jane Meyer was the elder daughter of Milburn George Meyer and Edith Faye Williams. She was born on November 4, 1935, in Kansas City, MO. For her first 5 years, she lived in Lamar, Missouri, where her parents owned and operated a drug store and pharmacy. Her family, which now included a younger sister, Linda, moved to Edinburg, Texas in 1940, and later to Weslaco, Texas. Mr. and Mrs. Meyer owned several drug stores during a 40 plus year career. However, during WWII the family operated a canning business, providing food for the U.S. military. After the war, the family returned to the pharmacy business in Weslaco.
Betty attended high school in Weslaco Texas, where she was active in drama and journalism. Following high school, Betty went to Baylor University in Waco. Her interests were in the theater and religious education. After her junior year, Betty met John Harvey Pulliam of Doniphan, MO. They were married in the Baylor Chapel on January 27, 1956.
Betty and John had 2 children, Mark and Martha Elizabeth (Beth). Betty provided support from home while her husband was a navigator/bombardier for the Air Force Strategic Air Command, first in B-47's in KS and NM and later, when John transitioned to B-52 aircraft, to several duty stations in LA, CA and WA. John was killed in an Air Force B-52 plane crash on November 10, 1964, while the family was stationed in Moses Lake, WA.
Betty married Howard Gaines Sparrow of Mercedes, Texas on August 30, 1968. She and her children moved to Mercedes, TX where they joined Howard's family, which included 6 children from his first marriage; Judy, Charles (Chip), Gregory (Scott), Marianne, Nancy, and Susan. All 6 Sparrow children and most of their children and grandchildren still reside in the Rio Grande Valley. Howard and Betty were married for over 39 years. Howard died after a lengthy illness in November 2007.
Betty was an avid Bible student and a member of the Rio Grande Valley Healing Rooms Church in Weslaco and was formerly active in the First United Methodist Church in Mercedes. Betty was also active in the Orchid Society and community affairs. Betty spent her life taking care of her family, and in later years developed a love of orchids and spent many happy hours in her backyard greenhouse nursing the finicky flowers.
Betty is survived by son Mark and daughter in law Melissa, of Plano, TX and two grandchildren, Matthew and Meaghan, both of Dallas, TX. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Martha Elizabeth (Beth) Pulliam who was killed in a car accident in 1999. Betty is also survived by her sister, Linda Ries of Othello WA, along with Linda's three daughters and their families.
A memorial service will be held to celebrate Betty's life on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at 2 pm, at McCaleb's Funeral Home, 900 W 4th Street, Weslaco TX. A graveside service will be held at a date to be determined at Ft. Sam Houston National Military Cemetery in San Antonio, TX.
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