Betty Sue Rotramel, long-time resident of Berryville, AR passed into the presence of Jesus, her Savior on October 10th, 2017, in Fayetteville, AR. Betty was born on March 29th, 1933, lived 84 years on the earth and was the first of five children born to John Wesley Perkins and Ethel Rhoda Garner-Perkins of Berryville, AR. She was born on a farm, three miles north of Berryville.
At age 18, Betty met the love of her life, William Thomas “Bill” Rotramel – and they were married on February 12th, 1952. Over the course of their lives together, they raised a family of four children, Merle David, Julian, Garth and Rachel Jane. For the most part, Betty was a homemaker and artist during the child-rearing years, while Bill was working for the Federal Aviation Administration. In 1973, Bill retired and they moved the family back to the farm in Berryville where Betty had been born and this was the place she considered her earthly home for all her remaining days - even after moving into an assisted living facility in Fayetteville, AR in late 2013.
In the years between 1973 and her death, Betty and Bill enjoyed 31 more years together. Retirement never meant slowing down. She and Bill, together with family were always active in the local church (Freeman Heights and subsequently charter members of Southern Heights) and in the community – Friends of the Library, Civic activities, Eureka Springs Art Guild, etc. For 28 seasons of the Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs, AR (1975-2003) Betty and Bill served as members of the cast and in various leadership roles in the management of the Play, which they considered a great ministry to many people over the years. Together, they edited and/or published numerous cookbooks over the years. Betty truly considered the 52 years she and Bill were together as pure bliss, commenting on many occasions how, when she married Bill (seventeen years older than she), she would likely be living out her last years as a widow – and this was true for the last 13 years – “But it was worth it,” said she.
Betty was able to pursue her creative passions through writing letters to family and friends, usually including pictures and cartoons she had personally created. In fact, even to the last moments of her life she was busy with such tasks, to the point a number of people commented on having received a letter from her – even on the day of her passing! Betty often commented, she liked to make people smile, noting her letters might be the only “real mail” a person would receive on any given day.
Betty was preceded in her death by beloved husband, Bill Rotramel; her parents, John Wesley and Ethel Rhoda Perkins; a brother, Jimmy Perkins and her oldest son, Merle David Rotramel. She is survived by daughter-in-law, Deana Rotramel (widow of son Merle David of Yukon, OK; son Julian Rotramel, wife Brenda, of Lenexa KS, son Garth Rotramel, wife Connie, of Fayetteville, AR; daughter, Rachel, husband Kenny Ford of Ridgecrest, CA; grandson, John Rotramel, wife Victoria, of Houston TX; granddaughter Jenna, husband West Stacy, of Fayetteville, AR; grandson, Jeremiah; grandson, Daniel; sister Jeanette, husband Jack Sams of Berryville, AR, brother Joe Perkins, wife Sheila of Berryville, AR and sister, Brenda, husband G.B. Richardson of Green Forest, AR; two great grandchildren, Gabriel and Eli Rumbo, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service is planned for Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 2 pm at the Southern Heights Baptist Church, Berryville, AR. (costumes optional – bright, happy colors for sure!) In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Gideon’s International Ministry in memory of Betty.