Elizabeth Lovett “Betty” Valachovic, of Little Rock passed away Tuesday, December 10, 2013. She was born December 19, 1925, in Texarkana, Arkansas, the daughter of Paul Eugene and Lela Nelson Lovett. She was married to Ernest Valachovic, Sr., who was a political reporter for the Arkansas Gazette, on June 18, 1944. Ernest died on October 15, 1968, when Betty was only forty-two years old and she never remarried.
Betty has three children: Ernie Valachovic, Jr. and his wife Wanda, of Benton, AR, Pat Crocker and her husband Gary, of Coral Gables, FL, and Carol Bohannan and her husband Terry, of North Little Rock, AR.
Betty has four grandchildren, Kristen Adcock and her husband Nick; Bethany Waldo, Chance Bohannan and Nate Bohannan, and two great-grandchildren Will and Reagan Adcock. Special “daughter” Mary Boyd Finch Boudreau and her family.
She left the Arkansas Education Association (where she had worked for thirteen years) to serve as an administrative aide for then gubernatorial candidate Bill Clinton. After the successful election was over, Betty was offered the opportunity to work as the Executive Director of the Arkansas Optometric Association. She worked there for eighteen years until her retirement in August 2000.
She served as President of the International Association of Optometric Executives and the Arkansas Society of Association Executives. She received the First Virgil Deering Optometric Executive Director of the Year award given at the American Optometric Association Congress for outstanding services to the optometric profession by an executive director. She also was the first non-optometrist to be awarded the Distinguished Service Award given by the Arkansas Optometric Association. Betty has received numerous other professional service awards, but there are too many to list.
Betty was a member of the Women’s Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools during the Central High School crisis. She has served as President of the Pilot Club of Little Rock, been a Board member of the Ouachita Girl Scout Council and served in almost every capacity (including President) of the PTA organizations of her children’s schools when they were growing up. She was very active in Life Quest and was in charge of the travel log classes.
She was a member of VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Service to Humanity) group and went to several third world nations on service trips.
She was a founding volunteer at the Clinton Library. She loved being a member of this very special volunteer family and playing an active part in supporting a wonderful facility that allows so many people from all across the world to see how proud we are of President Clinton’s service to our country. She was to be honored this week by President Clinton with a special award for her volunteer work.
She had traveled extensively and loved to see new places. She was active up until the time of her death.
She was adored by everyone who knew her and “Maw Maw” will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
Memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, December 16, 2013, in the Chapel of Roller-Chenal Funeral Home 13801 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, AR (501)224-8300. Visitation will be one hour prior to service.
Memorials may made in loving memory of Betty Valachovic to Project 222 (African Mission Trip) C/O Deep Well Campus Ministries, P.O Box 10614, Conway, AR 72034, the Arkansas Optometric Scholarship Fund, Southern College of Optometry 1245 Madison Ave., Memphis, TN 38104, or a favorite charity of your choice.