Betsy Lindsey Fortney was welcomed into paradise this Sunday evening March 11, 2018 at Bay Area Medical Center in Webster, Texas. Surrounded by her loving family Mrs. Fortney received the holy anointing oil at bedside as she journeyed home where she joined her two sons who predeceased her, Thomas Hugh Fortney, Sr. and William “Billy” Lindsey Fortney, and her parents Gerthel Lindsey Sloan, and Ross L. Lindsey.
Mrs. Fortney was born in DeQuincy, Louisiana on December 26, 1930 and grew up in Baytown, Texas, graduating from Robert E. Lee High School. As a young woman she was quite the dancer and could easily fill her dance card with those few good men who could really jitterbug. While raising her three children she managed to work full time for Missouri Pacific, help her mother run a business on Texas Avenue, The Carousel Shop and help her Aunt Thelma who owned Fortney Florist. In her spare time she pitched a good hard ball as her three children ran the bases “on the bay” at their Lakewood home. After retiring from Union Pacific Railroad she would often be seen about town chauffeuring her mother or her many grandchildren to their various activities. Fishing trips to Smith Point were frequent and she would outlast anyone on the pier waiting to catch as many speckled trout as the law allowed. As an antique lover Mrs. Fortney often spent weekends with her mother and adult children going to antique auctions all over the Houston area. It was not uncommon for her to accidentally bid against her own kin in her eagerness to score treasures. In addition to caring for her mother she also cared for her father until his death in 1989. She was a lifelong member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Baytown, Texas where all three of her children attended school and received their sacraments.
After moving to the Clear Lake area to be near her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren children Mrs. Fortney enjoyed caring for her garden, tending her koi pond, and keeping watch on her humming bird feeders. She patiently taught all her grandchildren and great grandchildren the thrills of card playing, never giving over a good hand just to let them win. Later in life she enjoyed trips to Vegas, Coushatta, beach towns in Mexico and surrounding islands, as well as tours of both Spain and Italy. During her time in Clear Lake she attended St. Clare of Assisi Catholic church and watched her grandchildren and great grandchildren serve at the altar, receive sacraments, perform plays, learn to sing and play sports. Hearing her grandson Chase play the piano or drums and her granddaughter Madelyn sing the psalm soothed her soul. With a servant heart and a joyful presence Mrs. Fortney prepared her homemade desserts and Cajun cuisine just as her mother before her had done, providing precious back up for the next generation to raise their children and grandchildren. She always put family first and when it was her time to slow down her precious son-in-law Patrick and daughter Anne Marie took her in and cared for her, all made possible by daughter Kristen, son in law Kelly, and “adopted” family members Karla and Mary, Karlita and Emily. While in a care facility Mrs. Fortney would often be the life of the party, playing 3 cards of bingo at once, and dancing in her wheel chair to the golden oldies. She liked her hair fixed and her nails and make up done. She laughed with abundance and never tired of hearing or telling family stories. She was a devoted Rockets and Texans fan and was thrilled to see her Astros win the World Series.
Mrs. Fortney leaves behind her only daughter, Anne Marie Fortney Way, and husband Patrick Way and daughter-in-law, Rhonda Fortney, all of Clear Lake; grandchildren, Thomas Fortney, Jr. of Colorado, John Fortney, of Baytown, Kristen Way, of Clear Lake, Kathryn Way of Houston, Madelyn Way, of Edinburgh, Scotland, William Chase Fortney of LaPorte, and Drew Fortney, of Austin, TX; great grandchildren Kennedy Baldridge, Holden Baldridge, Griffen Baldridge, Breanna Fortney, of Clear Lake, and Agnes Fortney, Austin and Aymon Fortney, of Nimes, France. Mrs. Fortney is also survived by numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews in Texas and Louisiana.
Her family will receive friends at Navarre Funeral Home Thursday, March 15, 2018 beginning at 5:00 p.m. with a rosary to follow at 7:00 p.m. A funeral Mass will be Friday, March 16, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church, 3131 El Dorado Blvd. Houston, TX 77059 with Rev. Vincent Vuong-Quoc Nguyen officiating. After a parish meal at the St. Clare Family Life Center, a private burial with a Rite of Committal will follow at White Cemetery in Highlands, Texas.
Serving as pallbearers will be Kelly Rankin, Patrick Way, Paul Dawson, Chase Fortney, John Fortney, and Nick Mancuso.
To view the online obituary or to post a tribute for the family, go to www.navarrefuneralhome.com
Arrangements are under the direction and personal care of Navarre Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 2444 Rollingbrook Dr., Baytown, TX, 77521 (281) 422-8111.