Betty Jean Parmenter Clark, 94, passed away peacefully in her sleep Sunday, March 26, 2017, after a long illness.
Interment will be in the historic Oakwood Cemetery in Austin on Friday, March 31, 2017 at 11:10 a.m., where her mother and the Austin Whitis family are buried.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Betty's memory to the Grace First Presbyterian Church in Weatherford, or The Smile Train Inc., 41 Madison Ave., 28th Floor, New York, NY 10010.
Betty was born in Austin on Feb. 10, 1923. She was one of numerous descendants, and the great-granddaughter of Charles Wesley Whitis, an attorney who came to Texas in 1854 from North Carolina driving a team in exchange for his travel expenses. He practiced law in Lockhart, but after the Civil War, he bought land in Austin where he moved his family and joined a banking firm. He has been called "one of the true fathers" of Austin for his central role in bringing the Houston and Central Texas railroad to Austin in 1871. The Whitis family home stood at the current site of Scottish Rite Dormitory on the University of Texas campus and All Saints Episcopal Church which was once the Whitis orchard. Charles' son, John Hancock Whitis, was Betty's grandfather. She spent time as a child living in her grandparent's home on Whitis Street, named for the Whitis family's prominence in the early development of the city of Austin.
Betty was the daughter of Clara Mae Whitis Parmenter and Eugene Arthur Parmenter. As a child she moved to Oakland, Mich., where her father was a stockbroker. Her lifelong love of baseball came from the many ball games she attended with her father in Detroit. She inherited her love for music from her mother, who was a talented classical pianist, and who exposed Betty to concerts and opera in Detroit. Every Saturday, Betty tuned in to the Metropolitan Opera broadcast, and for many years was a member of Highland Park Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir in Dallas.
Her first two years of college were completed at Michigan State University. She later moved with her mother to Austin, where Betty finished her undergraduate and graduate degree in Speech Pathology at the University of Texas. She had a long and successful career with Dallas Independent School District as a teacher and Supervisor of Special Services. Betty loved to travel and had many trips abroad and in the U.S., and was an avid reader and bridge player until well into her 90's. After 50 years in Dallas, she moved to Weatherford to be near close friends and to enjoy life at a slower pace. Her strong faith in her Lord sustained her throughout her long life... Praise God.
Services are in care of White's Funeral Home, Weatherford.
Published on March 30, 2017