of Searcy, AR
August 30, 1928 - April 8, 2021
Betty Jean Smith Lankford, age 92, of Searcy, Arkansas received her crown of life April 8, 2021. She was born in Minden, Louisiana on August 30, 1928. She was preceded in death by her parents, William Earl and Edith Richeson Smith and a brother J.V. Smith all of Minden. Left to cherish her memory are her husband, Jim, of 61 years, A son, Jim Jr (Renee) of Searcy, a daughter Mary Ann Bolin (David) of Searcy, 3 grandchildren, Brooke Elizabeth Strasser (Matt) of Russellville, Lauren Ashton Bolin of Searcy and Jacob Allen Lankford of Searcy. She is also survived by her little "precious" great granddaughter, Maren Nicole Strasser. Betty graduated from Louisiana Tech in 1950 with a BA degree. She taught for 10 years in Springhill, LA and 22 years at Southwest Middle School in Searcy. She was well known for having all of her students memorize all of the verbs and many students comment that they still remember them to this day. She retired for the occasion of her firstborn grandchild and of course to help with the other grandchildren that followed. Betty was a member of the volunteer auxiliary at unity hospital from 2002 until present having given for than 10,000 hours of volunteer service. She is a member of the West Side Church of Christ here in Searcy. Betty enjoyed traveling and her and Jim experienced some very interesting trips such as retracing Jim's steps that he took while serving in WWII in Germany. They toured the northeast and northwest states, Hawaii, and Canada. They also cruised to Alaska which they really enjoyed. But she most enjoyed her times with her family at the family farm and always looked forward to a good old country farm breakfast. Visitation will be Monday April 12, 2021 at 9:00 am with the funeral to follow at 10:30 am at the West Side church of Christ building. Interment will be at Oak Grove cemetery in Searcy. In lieu of flowers the family request that donations be made to the American Heart Association or a charity of your choice. The family would also like to thank the Westside church family as well as all of the friends who have reached out by phone calls, cards, visits, and prayers. We would also like to especially thank Dr. Katherine Durham and Julie Pate for their love and compassion in treating Betty and helping her and her family through this difficult journey.
Love and prayers to the family of this wonderful lady.
What a beautiful life. She was my 3rd grade teacher. Prayers for her family, especially her sweet husband.
We lived across the street from the Lankfords when I was a child. Sorry for your loss.
I am a native of Searcy, AR, and had Mrs. Lankford for 6th grade English in the 80s. Yes, I can still recite my "being verbs" with gusto! Ha. Interestingly, I now live about 20 minutes from Minden, LA. May God cover the Lankford family with special grace during this time of loss. Blessings!
My sincere condolences to Betty’s family. I would have attended visitation if this had been posted earlier, so sorry to miss it. Many fun trips with Betty and Southwest students.
Mrs Lankford had such a positive influence on a lot of us students. I will never forget the verbs. She was always willing to help us if we didn’t understand something and she explained it to where we could understand it. English was my favorite subject and a lot of that is because of her. She has given her family an awesome legacy! I remember at the hospital she was escorting me to a certain department and we said the verbs in the elevator. She was an amazing woman and will be missed!
Sorry, we were unable to be with you for support. We are praying for this special family. The memories she created is your treasure to remember. We will continue to keep this family in our prayers.
My heart goes out to your wonderful family in this difficult time. Betty was a true pleasure to know. We know she was greeted by the Lord with open arms and is enjoying the warmth of his love today. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
God's grace be with All of You and You'll will remain in my thoughts, and prayers for quite some time, I know this pain is beyond words!
I am praying for you during this difficult time. I pray for peace and comfort. I will cherish her forever in my heart. I loved her dearly. Shellie
Mr. Lankford, Mary, Jim, Renee and Jacob: We are so sorry for your loss. Please know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. Again, our deepest condolences. David and Briana McNeill
Thinking of you all during this difficult time and praying for peace and comfort in the days ahead.
Will treasure the time we got to spend with her. I think we, the DAHS Class of 1959, adopted her into the clan. May you find peace in knowing that you will be reunited in time. Best wishes for the coming days.
I had Mrs. Lankford for English in the 7th grade in 1981. I have so many fond memories of her class! I never thought I would love diagramming sentences but she made it seem easy. She was a wonderful teacher! I am so sorry for your loss.
Love you all so much! I know you will miss her. But she is where she is supposed to be and where she longed to be I am sure.