Betty Frances Smith Bardwell
BELLEVUE, LA – Betty Frances Smith Bardwell, known by family as “Doll” and “Miss Betty” by close friends she dearly loved, 74, of Bellevue, Louisiana, departed this life for us to continue this journey ourselves so that she could sit at the feet of her Savior, Jesus, in peace and perfect health.
Services were held for Betty on Sunday, May 15, 2016, at Hill Crest Memorial Funeral Home, Haughton, LA. She was laid to rest in Hill Crest Memorial Park.
Mom was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi on June 26, 1941 to Carl R. and Marguerite Smith. She attended several schools and graduated from Minden High School in 1960. Mom went on to earn her CNA certificate and worked as a caregiver to those needing care. For several years she worked at the Northwest Louisiana State School as a caregiver, a job she found very rewarding. She also held several other jobs while she was a military wife and afterward, but the most important job was that of being a mother to her four boys and raising them the best way she knew. If you ask us, we can tell you some funny stories about switches, belts, and orange Hot Wheels tracks. Stick around after all the laughter and you’ll hear the wonderful stories about how Mom made certain sacrifices to make sure we had everything we needed at the time and stood by us when it seemed nobody else did.
If you want to hear any bad stories, well, you’ll have to ask Momma about those because we don’t remember. Momma loved us and could be really funny in the strangest ways and that’s what we are going to remember…the Happiness, Joy, and Peace; not the pain. To help cheer Mom up, sometimes we would tell her about things we did when we were younger that she never knew about. Yeah, that switch still hurts, even while we are in our 40’s and 50’s. Take note, you may not want to tell YOUR mom about those things she doesn’t already know about. Fair warning!
As with everyone, we live life as though it were a rollercoaster ride; we have our ups and downs. Mom is no different; she certainly had her ups and downs, bright days and dark days, full of sunshine and rain. A couple of years ago she was diagnosed with colon cancer. That was a very dark day, not only for her, but for her family as well. That is terrible news for anyone. But Mom and her doctors were determined to beat it and weren’t going to let this pull her down. During the surgery and chemotherapy treatment, Mom began to let go of things that bothered her and we all watched a beautiful transformation in her. She started to live life to its fullest to the best of her ability. Nothing was going to hold her back, even if it meant running people off the road whenever she got in the car to drive to Waffle House to meet up with her many, wonderful, and supportive friends, or drive to Wal-Mart or Brookshire’s for shopping. If you don’t believe me, then ask anyone who ever rode with her. Crazy, I tell you.
During this time of transformation, Mom would buy a lot of jewelry from the shopping networks on TV…and I mean a lot of it. I never got a clear answer as to why she was doing it, but that was Mom; “It’s none of your business, I’ll do what I want, just leave me alone,” and she would give that smile only she could give after telling me that. A few days ago while Mom was in the hospital, she asked me to go to her bank and let the ladies there know how she was doing and tell them “Hello!” for her. As I was talking to one of the tellers she told me, “Here, I want to give this back to you. It was a gift your mother gave me a little while back. It’s a necklace and a bracelet. I think you should have it back.” She was assured that Mom wanted her to have it and to please keep it; it was a gift from Mom.
Then it dawned on me this morning; Mom was buying all this “stuff” to give to people she loved and cared for…and this is something Mom does. She was always a giver, of things and herself. So, the jewelry table you see set up is not a retail table, but a gift table, gifts from her to you. Please, choose a gift and cherish it.
Mom is preceded in death by her parents, Carl R. Jr. and S. Marguerite Pearson Smith and one brother, Gerald L. Smith, Sr. Surviving Mom is one older “Sister” whom cannot be identified due to her super Secret Service duties working for a spy agency somewhere…at least that’s what she says. Please, don’t ask, because not even I am authorized to tell…and I wouldn’t tell you, anyway…so there! Mom is also survived by her four boys, otherwise known as “The Boys;” Robert Wayne Kovacs and his wife, Maria; Carl Joseph Kovacs; Richard Allen Kovacs and his wife, Michelle; Jon Michael Kovacs and his wife, Ruth; several grandchildren, and, so far, four great-grandchildren. Stay tuned for more later.
“The Boys” (Wayne, Joey, Richard, and Jon), along with the rest of Betty’s family, would like to thank everyone at The Waffle House for their friendship and kindness shown to Mom. You were very special to her. “Thank You”.
“Tell everyone ‘I love them.'” ~Betty Smith Bardwell
Hill Crest Memorial Funeral Home