Bette Gene Foster Spoonts


Bette Gene Foster Spoonts was born in Archer City, Texas, on May 19, 1928, to Eugene Stephen “Bill” Foster and Vivian Wilma Brown Foster. The young family moved to Santa Fe, NM, where Bette graduated from Santa Fe High School.

While attending the University of New Mexico, she became re-acquainted with her childhood friend, Tommy L. Spoonts, whom she married on March 8, 1947. The couple lived in Carlsbad, NM, where their five children were born, then they moved to Austin, TX, in 1971. They remained in the Austin area for the remainder of their lives. They were married for 70 years and had five children.

Bette passed away in her home on the family ranch at Liberty Hill, Texas, on July 9, 2020, at the age of 92. She was preceded in death by her parents; by her brother, Stephen Earl Foster; and by her husband, Tommy L. “Tom” Spoonts, the love of her life.

Bette’s home was always open to friends, strangers and any stray animal. She was hospitable and welcoming to other children, including her brother, who was the first among several who lived in her home, as her own children were growing up.

Early in her life she was employed as the office manager for Carlsbad pediatrician Dr. Catherine Armstrong, and then at Sears credit department. She was a member of the Women’s Service Club and a Troop Leader of the Camp Fire Girls, earning an award from the National Camp Fire Girls Organization as Outstanding Leader. After moving to Austin, Texas, she worked from home as bookkeeper for several physicians and other businesses until she retired.

Tom and Bette spent many summers living in Cloudcroft, NM. No matter where they lived, they took an active role in their local church there. As devoted followers of Jesus, they served as Youth Ministers, Bible Class teachers, Shepherds and encouragers of the gospel, hosting many Bible studies in their home.

At the time of her death, Bette was supporting native missionaries in Kenya, the Island of St. Kitts (where she and Tom lived and worked for several years) and in the Philippines. She was extremely benevolent and loved helping anyone in need. Tom often joked that “she would give everything away if only he would let her!”

Bette is survived by her children, Peggy West and husband Larry of West Monroe, LA, Bill Spoonts and wife Juanita of Ruidoso Downs, NM, Danny Spoonts and wife Ann of Denver, CO, Tommy Spoonts Jr., and wife Judy of Lubbock, TX, and Bonny Jones and husband Gary of Cedar Park, TX. She was Grandma, Mimi, and Gigi to her 12 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews as well as many others who called her “Mom” and friends from around the world.

Due to the current pandemic, a private graveside service for the family will be held at the Smithwick Cemetery in Smithwick, Texas, on Friday, July 17. Officiating at the service will be Linvel Baker, Minister for the Smithwick Church of Christ, and a dear friend to the family. Honorary pall bearers are the grandchildren and their spouses, each of whom Bette loved with a passion.

The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Mia Moo Fund at, or to Orphan/Missionary Work in Kenya c/o Smithwick Church of Christ, PO Box 413, Marble Falls, TX 78654.