Cover photo for Betty Lou Johnson Elfelt's Obituary
Betty Lou Johnson Elfelt Profile Photo
1945 Betty 2020

Betty Lou Johnson Elfelt

February 15, 1945 — November 24, 2020

Betty Lou Johnson Elfelt of Amarillo passed away at BSA Hospital on November 24, 2020, a victim of COVID-19.  She was born in Asheboro, North Carolina, on February 15, 1945, the daughter of Nyal A. Johnson and Elsie (Willis) Johnson.  She completed nursing training at the Hamlet Hospital School of Nursing in Hamlet, NC and worked as a registered nurse in Raleigh, NC, until joining the US Navy Nurse Corps in 1968.  Betty had a wide variety of assignments as a Navy nurse including duty in Taiwan and at several locations in the USA.

While stationed in Charleston, SC, in 1975, she met James M. Elfelt, a naval officer assigned to an attack submarine homeported there.  After six weeks of dating and 6 months of telephone courtship due to Jim’s transfer to Groton CT, they were married in the Charleston Naval Station Chapel on June 26, 1976.

Betty remained on active duty for another year and then resigned to become a full-time Navy wife and mother.  Jim’s extended absences on sea duty required her to single-handedly manage all the family’s affairs, including building a new house, then selling it, delivering two of their three children, and raising a wonderful family, all while he was away more than half the time.  The next 17 years would see Betty and her growing family move to Columbus, OH, back to Charleston, and then to Norfolk, VA, before arriving in Amarillo in 1995.

Betty was born to be a nurturer, and she excelled in every aspect of being a wife, a mother, a sister, and a granny—especially granny.  No grandchildren were ever loved and cherished more deeply than her five angels.

She leaves to mourn her husband of 44 years, James Elfelt of Amarillo and their three children: John (Elizabeth) Elfelt of Fort Worth, TX, Elizabeth (Kirk) Martin of Lubbock, TX, and Margaret (Robbie) Byrd of Amarillo as well as five grandchildren: Elsie, Jake, Zachary, James, and Lou.  She is also survived by her brothers John L. Johnson of Clifton, VA, and N. Willis Johnson of Irmo, SC, by several nieces and nephews, and by her best-friend-ever, Meg Garrett of Laurel, MD.  She was pre-deceased by her parents and her older sister, Elizabeth Ann Johnson.

Betty’s charitable spirit could not bear the thought of anyone ever going hungry, particularly children.  Anyone desiring to honor her lifetime of helping others might consider making a memorial donation to the Hunger Project managed by Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle or to the High Plains Food Bank in Amarillo.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty Lou Johnson Elfelt, please visit our flower store.


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