Fort Worth’s Oldest and First Funeral Home - Since 1879

Betty Rice Fortenberry House

FORT WORTH — Betty Rice Fortenberry House, our beloved mother passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 29, 2016.
Celebration of Life: 11:00 a.m., Saturday April 16, 2016 at Joe B. Brown Memorial Chapel, Brown Owens & Brumley Funeral Home.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers please make donations to NAMI of Tarrant County 3136 W. 4th St. Ft. Worth 76104 to help patients with mental health or bipolar disorders.
Betty was born to B.D. and Irene Rice on April 28, 1927 in Midland Texas. After graduating from high school in 1944, she moved to Fort Worth to attend Texas Weslyan College. There she met and married Hardie Fortenberry in 1947. They lived briefly in Michigan and Illinois before returning to Slidell, Texas where they began raising their four children. She graduated from North Texas State College in 1962 with a Bachelor degree in Biology. She began to fulfill her dream of a career in scientific research working, first, at Southwest Medical School at Parkland Hospital and after 30 years, she retired from Alcon Laboratories. During that time, she worked her way up from lab technician to research scientist leading studies in the development of several drugs, guiding them through FDA approval and patenting of these ophthalmic drugs. Betty’s work took her all over the United States, Europe and South America. She earned the highest award from Alcon, the Technical Excellence Award Dedicated to Advances in Ophthalmic Therapy. Her portrait hangs in the Alcon Research and Development Building Hall of Fame.
Her love of travel and water led her to cross the Atlantic several times in diverse modes including the Queen Elizabeth II, the Concorde and a freight ship. She vacationed on the beaches of Panama with its President,an old college friend. She had a life long quest for knowledge, understanding and to serve others. She was a volunteer for Crisis Hotline and served as Alumni President of Texas Wesleyan University. Betty gave freely of her time and money to those in need and causes in which she believed. She was a mentor and inspiration to her children and grandchildren providing strength and guidance. She loved her family, books, pictures, history and people. She will be deeply missed by her loved ones.
Survivors: Sister, Jane Butts of Seminole TX; sister, Francys and husband, James Cauble of Seminole,TX; son, Joe Fortenberry of Fort Worth; son, Dale and wife Vivian Fortenberry of Carrollton, TX; daughter, Lynne and husband Robert Butler of North Richland Hills, TX; grandson, Jimmy and wife Kayla Carr of Austin, TX; granddaughter, Monica and husband Stephen Higdon of Fort Worth and great-grandchildren, Simon and Genevieve Higdon.

BROWN, OWENS & BRUMLEY
Family Funeral Home & Crematory
425 S. Henderson, 817-335-4557

Condolence Messages

  1. Kaye Fortenberry

    Loved Aunt Betty and you cousins. Will see you Saturday the 16th! If you need to talk just call or text ,

  2. Janet Fortenberry

    What a life! Loved you beyond belief- Janet & Patti Fortenberry

  3. Terry and Barry Butts

    Such a wonderful tribute to your mother/grandmother/great-grandmother. Aunt Betty was so much fun to visit. I always learned something new. She made a mark on the world that will forever be appreciated. Going to miss our long talks. She always had an opinion and never hesitated to let you know what it was. And funny…she could always make me laugh. Always a gracious hostess. Really going to miss her at the annual Arnett Reunion. Hugs to the family.

  4. Mary-Lou Keating

    Betty was a mentor to me at Alcon. I never forgot her wonderful, wacky sense of humor. She once told me I was perhaps one of the strangest people aged met, but that was OK because you always need strange people in your life. Betty was and still is one of a very few people that enriched my life. Go in peace…you are missed.

  5. Aunt Betty was my inspiration and always listened to her for advice and encouragement. I will always have those memories of Summer’s on the “Farm”. Her wit and humor will be missed. She was a pioneer in research and she touched so many lives. She and Mother are now together planning their next escapade. I will miss Aunt Betty; however, I have those wonderful memories and I smile when I think about Aunt Betty and Smile. Love and hugs to my cousins during this difficult time. I am so sorry I am not able to be there for the service. I will be there in spirit.

  6. Betty House was a fine lady, generous and kind. I will always cherish her friendship.

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