Betty Lou Stevens Keeter of Stilwell, Oklahoma entered into God’s Kingdom on April 22, 2023 at 95 years of age. She was born March 11, 1928 to Minnie Ann Hatfield Stevens and Alfred Earl Stevens and was the youngest of eight children (seven boys and two girls). Her father worked for the Kansas City Southern Railroad and her mother was a homemaker. Growing up, she had close relationships with her family and she felt a lot of support from her brother Carl and sister Liz. In her young adulthood she was twice-voted football homecoming queen: at Stilwell High School and Connors State College. Obtaining her Bachelor’s of Education at Northeastern State University was a great point of pride for Betty and impacted her life greatly. Because of her work in education, she met and fell in love with the man who became the love of her life- Gus Keeter - while working in a two-teacher school. He courted her by giving her daily rides to the school where they taught together. Betty and Gus taught together in several Adair county schools as well as at Briartown. Betty’s favorite grade to teach was first grade and that is what she chose to teach for most of her career. She taught school for 36 years and was Teacher of the Year twice. Betty and Gus had five girls whom they loved very much and they loved to hear their girls sing, especially when they were singing together. At one time or another, they taught all of their girls in school and Betty especially was always encouraging to her girls and to everyone. “You can do anything you set your mind to” was something this positive force would tell her children and grandchildren every opportunity she had. She loved flowers of any kind, and was a member of the Rose Garden Club of Stilwell. Prior to her death in 2022, she was proud to hold the unofficial title of Reigning Oldest Member of Stilwell First Baptist Church. In her final years, something that gave her a great deal of joy was watching church online and seeing Facebook posts from her family and friends. Even though she couldn’t get out often, she was able to check in on all of the folks she loved online.
She is survived by her daughters Georgia Mae Keeter Perry and husband Pete of Stilwell, Oklahoma; Shelley Kay Keeter Lignitz and husband Larry of Houston, Texas; Ronetta Lou Keeter Briggs and husband Don of Dallas, Texas; and Tammy Lynn Keeter Miller and husband David of Stilwell, Oklahoma. Her grandchildren Michael Roberts, Millette Buckner, Patti Holdren, Meleah Hoskins, Brett Irvine, Christa Irvine, Lara Lignitz, Alec Lignitz, Zachary Briggs, Benjamin Briggs, Lora Miller, and Ashley Miller. Her sixteen great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband Gus Keeter, daughter Carla Ann Keeter Engle, mother Minnie Ann Hatfield Stevens, and father Alfred Earl Stevens. Her siblings Greal Stevens, Gene Stevens, Charlie Stevens, Calvin Stevens, Lizzie Mae Stevens Long, Clarence Steven, and Carl Stevens.
She leaves behind a host of loving family, friends, and former students.