Betty Taylor King passed away peacefully on January 1, 2023, at the age of 85. Betty will be remembered as a loving wife and mother, dedicated teacher, passionate civic leader, and the person who could always be counted upon to get the ball across the finish line.
Born in Marshall, Texas on January 12, 1937, to John L. and W.C. “Bill” Taylor, Betty moved to Roswell at the age of two when her father accepted the position as manager of JC Penney before entering the into the broadcasting business. After graduating from Roswell High School in 1955, Betty returned to Texas to attend Texas Christian University where she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in education in 1959. While teaching in Fort Worth, she met the love of her life, John King. They married in 1961 and had two daughters Karolyn and Kathryn.
When Betty and John moved back to Roswell in 1963, Betty became a dedicated teacher focusing on social studies and geography. She loved to travel and would always bring souvenirs back to use in her classroom. Teaching to Betty was not just about textbooks and memorization; she always wanted her students to love learning.
After a career in education, Betty began a second career working alongside John at KBIM Radio. Betty could be seen calling on clients all over Southeastern New Mexico. Prior to her retirement, Betty brought over 100 live entertainment events to the area, including the “Taste of Home Cooking Schools,” Michael Martin Murphy, the Glenn Miller Band, and Will Roger Follies.
Betty loved the Dallas Cowboys! For years, Betty took clients to Dallas Cowboys games, where one of the highlights was the pre-game breakfast with All-Pro Tight-End #89, Billy Joe Dupree. Billy Joe and Betty became lifelong friends after she brought him to Roswell during her tenure as the first woman chair of the Chaves County United Way.
Betty’s tireless dedication to motivate others to “be all you can be” was one of her most endearing qualities. She was particularly proud to bring motivational speakers such as Zig Ziglar, Dr. Ben Carson and Florence Littauer to Roswell.
Betty was not only a teacher and owner of KBIM, but she also served as president of New Mexico Broadcasters Association, member of the Board of Trustees for the Spencer Theater and University of the Southwest. Betty’s civic leadership included being an active member of the Republican Party where she served Chaves County as its first woman chair. One of her fondest memories was having the honor to serve as the Southeastern New Mexico coordinator for former U.S. Senator and Apollo 17 astronaut, Dr. Harrison “Jack” Schmitt.
Throughout her life, Betty was an inspiration to others, and we owe her the most heartfelt gratitude any family can owe to their mother for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example. She will be dearly missed, but we rejoice in her ability to hear the words: “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!” Matthew 25:23
Betty is survived by her daughters Karolyn King Gillespie and Kathryn King Marely, and son-in-law Mark Marley. She is also survived by her grandchildren and their spouses Kate Marely Jones and Will Jones, Molly McKinney Marley, Ian Nelson and Audrey Gillespie, as well as three great-grandchildren, Margot Marley, Charlotte Marley and John Taylor “JT” Jones. Betty was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years John King, her parents Bill and John L. Taylor, and her beloved grandson, Taylor King Marley.
A private graveside service for Betty will be held on January 5, 2023.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to Ronald McDonald House Charities of New Mexico, www.rmhc-nm.org, or to your charity of choice.