BETTYE GARRETT MATHIS ALEXANDER, 86, of Pearland, Texas, passed away peacefully in her sleep on June 11, 2015 after a long illness. She was born on January 20, 1929 in Houston, Texas, and was the first child of two children of Franklin Mathis and Mable Garrett Mathis of Alvin, Texas. She was a devoted wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and community leader who enjoyed life fully and was loved by many who knew her. She graduated from Alvin schools and attended Rice University. She married the love of her life, Thomas P. Alexander, Sr., in 1945 and moved to Pearland in 1949.
Bettye had a positive “can do” attitude that translated into many good works for the people in her life and a vision for the improvement of the Pearland community in general. She had many personal, community and career interests over her life and devoted her time to being a loving wife, mother, friend, business woman and community leader.
For over 50 years, she was a realtor and managing partner with her husband and son in their real estate investment management company. She also served as a Board member of the Pearland State Bank from 2010 to 2013. She served as president and other positions on the Pearland Library Board and the Brazoria County Library Board for over 40 years. She was instrumental in the establishment of the first public library in Pearland in 1970 and the building of the new Pearland library and city hall in the 1970’s, as well as the building of libraries in several other Brazoria County communities. She worked with then Superintendant of Pearland ISD, Dr. Lloyd Ferguson, to open Pearland schools to persons with disabilities by enrolling her daughter, Diana, who is blind, in Pearland Junior High in the 1960’s. She was a founding supporter (Silver Triangle Club, Founding Fellow) of the Pearland Y.M.C.A. and funded many scholarships for families who could not afford summer programs for their children.
The following are some, but not all, of the organizations she served: President and various other positions of the Pearland ISD Parent-Teacher Association, football concession and volunteer in various school organizations/work groups for over 20 years, president of the Sunday school, Bible school organizer and member of the Pearland First United Methodist Church, sponsor of the Future Homemakers of America and Future Farmers of America, member of the Pearland Chamber of Commerce, Pearland Lioness Club, Pearland’s Women in Leadership, Christian Helping Hands, Pearland Neighborhood Center, Northern Brazoria County Education Alliance, and the Pearland Little League (by furnishing three practice fields). She volunteered for many years at the Houston Lighthouse for the Blind to produce many Braille materials and secure other resources for the blind. She was a supporter to many other groups including the Pearland Adult Reading Center, Delphian Club, Forgotten Angels Foundation, Special Olympics Texas, Methodist Children’s Home, Pearland Circle Group, Pearland Golfcrest Country Club including the women’s tennis and bridge groups, Houston Ladies’ Tennis Association, Pearland Historical Society, Pearland Artists Association and Women’s Center of Brazoria County. She also contributed to Houston Public Television, the March of Dimes, the Cancer Society and other charitable organizations.
She is survived by her children who loved and cared for her during her illness including Thomas (Tom) Patton Alexander, Jr., and wife Rosslyn, Diana Alexander Holzhauser and husband, Dennis, and Cynthia Elizabeth Alexander. She is survived by her grandchildren, Marylyn Alexander Reed, Jason Alexander, Sloan Speck, Kevin Alexander, Harrison Speck, and great-grandchildren, Nicholas Hubbard, Lacy Reed, Caroline Reed, Chase Alexander, Kiley Alexander, Colton Russell and Luke Alexander. She also is survived by her daughter, Harriett Alexander Holmes and husband, Allen, their children Alex Holmes and Amy Holmes Williams and grandchildren, Luke Holmes, Henry Holmes, Samuel Williams and Madeleine Williams.
Bettye is survived by one sister, Martha Mathis Black and her children, Patricia Black, Betsey Black Corbello and husband, Joey Corbello, and Marc Black and his wife Jessica. Bettye also was survived by her brother-in-law, Jud Alexander and her four sisters-in-law, Mary Alexander Bartlett, Sue Alexander Morrison, Patricia Alexander Wood, and Elizabeth Alexander Nisbet.
She is preceded in death by her beloved husband and life partner, Thomas Patton Alexander, Sr., her parents and her brothers-in-law, Charles (Jack) Alexander, John Alexander, and Robert Alexander, her sister-in-law, Martha Alexander Crouch and her long time friend, Mable Russett.
The family wishes to acknowledge a few of the many special supporters who demonstrated their love for her during her illness with care, visits, prayers and gifts: Dr. Theresa Vicroy with her constant oversight and care, Martha Black, Betsey and Joey Corbello, David and Linda Griffin, Dr. David and Elaine Armbruster, Jason and Jill Alexander, Marylyn Alexander, Kevin Alexander, Jud Alexander, Mary Bartlett, Pat and John Wood, Lee and Laura Alexander, Johnny Bill and Sue Alexander, Rev. Bob Joiner, Kay Kuttery’s, Michael and Nancy Martin, Russell Kibbee, Bill Brower, Leah Bateman, Ruth Holzhauser, and others too numerous to name individually. The family especially wishes to thank her home caregivers for their fine care and devotion: Dionne Broussard, Dinia Chassion, Kimberley Hammann, Mary Cormier, Linda Atkins, Veronica Graham, Jeanne Blankenship and Sue Foshee.
Visitation will be held on June 19, 2015 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Clayton Funeral Home, 5330 West Broadway, Pearland, Texas (281) 485-4446. The Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on June 20, 2015 at the First United Methodist Church, 2314 Grand Blvd., Pearland, Texas (281) 485-8721 with a reception at Golf Crest Country Club following the service. In lieu of flowers, the Alexander family requests that donations be made to, the Texas Lion’s Club Camp through the Pearland Lion’s Club, P.O. Box 903, Pearland, Texas 77588, the First United Methodist Church of Pearland, Building Fund, 2314 Grand Blvd., Pearland, Texas 77581 or the Adult Reading Center, Inc., 2246 N. Washington Avenue, Pearland, TX 77581-4040.