Betty Nell Cottingham Riley was born April 17, 1934, to Jefferson David and
Thelma Schoonover Cottingham in Prescott, Arkansas. She was blessed to
be one of eight children and was raised in a home filled with an abundance of
love for one another, a strong commitment to family, and above all a deep faith in the Lord.
Just before sunrise on Saturday, November 14, 2020, after a lengthy battle
with Alzheimer’s, Betty went to be with her Lord and Savior and was
immediately reunited with her family and many friends that have gone before her.
She was known by her family as “Betty Boop.” Later she would become
“Mom Boop” to her three grandchildren, Travis Riley (Shan), Shannon Craig
(Tim), and Mahriah Casarino (Erin), as well as to her eight great grandchildren (Riley Craig, Taylor Lambert, Payten Lambert, Maddox Riley, Reese Craig, Jackson Lambert, Mallory Riley, and Addysen Casarino). Hearing her grandchildren call her Mom Boop always put a smile on her face. She was so very proud of each of them and enjoyed bragging about them to anyone with a moment to listen.
Betty graciously stepped into the role of mother when she married the father of two small children, Eugenia Dianne Riley Atkinson (husband Walt) and Conaver E. Riley, Jr. (lovingly nicknamed Gee Gee by Betty) (wife
Debbie). Without a doubt, God put Betty and these children together, and
they instantly bonded to each other. What a special gift she was to them – so
full of love to give. Betty was completely prepared, equipped, and willing to be the best mother any child could ever dream of. She taught them life lessons and told them they could do and become anything they set their minds to. She comforted her children when they were hurting and was always there to pick them up when they fell, kiss their scraped knees, and even give them Popsicles when they had their tonsils removed. Betty also loved her children enough to provide correction when they got a little mischievous or started down a wrong path. Her devotion to her children forever changed their lives and her life for the better.
Betty spent her life fiercely loving her family, her friends, her neighbors, and her church family until Alzheimer’s robbed her of her memories and her joy for life. Before her illness, she enjoyed many simple pleasures. Among them were being a homemaker and mother, sewing, playing Scrabble with her friends, volunteering at school and her church, swinging on the front porch with her grandchildren, and spending time with her brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, and cousins at the annual Cottingham family reunion that she looked forward to each year. She was also a talented artist and used her abilities to convey her loving, caring, and gentle soul. Betty loved to laugh and spent her life doing and caring for others while always taking time to listen. She was also very protective of her family and friends and would step in to get to the bottom of things if necessary.
Those of us that knew her, loved her and will miss her dearly. We have been
blessed beyond measure to have had her in our lives.
Betty is survived by her sisters, Joyce Floyd (Charles “Jr.”), Lila Loe (Hershel), LaDon Woolverton (Carroll), her brother, Tommy Cottingham (Sharon), and her sister-in-law Catherine Cottingham. She has most certainly joined her mother and father and two sisters, Geneva Boyd (Vernon “Shorty”) and Mary Lou Grimes (Hoyt), and her brother, Jerry Cottingham (Catherine), in their eternal home. It is easy to imagine them all telling stories, laughing, and loving. Betty was blessed to have many nieces, nephews, and cousins, all of whom she loved and cared for deeply.
A family-only graveside service will be held at Pleasant Hill Cemetery at
Prescott, Arkansas on Friday Nov 20, 2020 at 1:00 pm. Social distancing will
be observed, and masks are required. The service will be officiated by Brother James Thomason and Brother Travis Matthews. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the Graves Memorial Baptist Building Fund, 4617 Oak Grove Road, North Little Rock, AR 72118, or to the Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011.
The family would also like to express our many thanks to the wonderful staff at Fox Ridge NLR Assisted Living for their support and compassionate care given to our Betty Boop for the last 4 years and to the nurses of Hospice for the care Betty received during the last two weeks of her life. We will be forever grateful. Funeral services are under direction of BRAZZEL/Cornish The Funeral Home of Prescott, Eddie Brazzel Director. Online condolences: www.brazzelfuneralhomes.com