Obituary: Betty Lou Vandeveer

Betty Lou Vandeveer
Provided Photo
Betty Lou


May 14, 1922 – May 9, 2021

Betty was born May 14th, 1922, in Miltonvale, Kansas, to Orin and Blanche Ober.

The Ober family moved west to California during the Great Depression, and settled in Ontario, CA ,in 1936. Betty graduated from Chaffey High School in 1940 and then Chaffey Junior College in 1942. She married William Doyle Smith in 1943, who was killed in combat over Belgium in 1944. Shortly thereafter, Betty returned to her college studies at UCLA and joined the Tri Delta Sorority. She was the first “married” (widowed) woman ever to be inducted into a national sorority. One of her sorority sisters decided to introduce Betty to an old friend from “back home” who was on leave in Los Angeles. That friend turned out to be Jim Vandeveer. The day she graduated from UCLA in 1946, she also married James W. (Jim) Vandeveer. Betty and Jim remained in Los Angeles until Jim, recently returned from overseas, graduated in 1949. During that time, Betty taught school and wrote her own Home Economics textbook. She also worked for the Regina Wine Company as a chemist and loved to take credit for helping transform them into a (fortunately) successful vinegar company. After leaving L.A., Betty and Jim moved around the Midwest for several years before finally settling in Dallas, TX, in 1952, where their daughters Vicki and Cindi were born and grew up, and where they still reside today.

Betty belonged to and supported many civic and charitable organizations and clubs throughout the years, including NEXUS, Les Femmes du Monde, Village Gardeners, Seneca Book Review Club, Calliope Club, S.O.S Investment Club, Northwood Country Club and Petroleum Club. But above all, she had a strong faith in God, and her quiet faith sustained her throughout her long life. She attended Grace Bible Church in Dallas when able, along with numerous Bible studies over the years.

Betty loved spending summers and winters in Aspen for as many years as she was able. Jim and Betty built their first house there in 1959, and kept a residence there until 2020. They were very involved in the Aspen community, developing the Meadowood subdivision in the mid 1960’s and Blue Lake near Basalt. They also donated the land for the Aspen Chapel, which was just down the road from their house.

Although not a skier, her skills at “apres-ski” were unexcelled! She loved entertaining and she did it beautifully, and often. Their home was truly “after-ski headquarters”, and everyone who visited knew that there would always be a pot of soup, chili or queso waiting for them. Betty also loved spending time in her native California, where she and Jim owned a home in Palm Desert. They spent many winters in their later years there, and always enjoyed a constant stream of visitors. Entertaining up till the end.

Betty was greatly loved by all who knew her. She always had a smile on her face and a kind word for everyone. She was famous for her skills as a hostess, her warm hospitality and her generosity of heart. She was ALWAYS ready for company and treasured the times that her family and friends were gathered around her…and she loved to entice any and all to stay well past their “bedtimes”! She loved music and food and decorating, and always made life more beautiful for everyone who entered her home. She was a wonderfully kind and gentle angel on earth, and we will greatly miss the special sparkle that she brought to our lives. Betty is survived by her husband Jim, and her two daughters Vicki Moore (Pete), Harlingen, TX, and Cindi Vandeveer (Martin Bielik), Aspen, Co.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Childhelp (to learn more about Childhelp, please visit or the American Heart Association.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, May 18 at 3:00pm at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home in Dallas, Texas. Funeral Service will begin at 4:00pm at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home in Dallas, and will be live streamed through, or directly at, A reception at the Funeral Home will follow.