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Betty Jean Falkingham

Betty Jean Falkingham, age 94, of Largo, Florida, passed away peacefully at her home on May 10, 2024. Born on March 18, 1930, in Parker, Texas, to Beulah Poor and Horace Parrish, Betty lived a life full of love, dedication, and service.

Betty’s home was frequently filled with the delicious aroma of her home cooking. She enjoyed preparing meals for her family and was renowned for her specialties, including ham and roasted potatoes around the pan, pound cake, and banana pudding. Although she maintained a healthy diet, she had a well-known sweet tooth. She kept physically fit with long neighborhood walks and occasional golf outings during her earlier years.

Betty’s life experiences were her classroom. With just a high school diploma and a robust work ethic, she rose to become the financial controller of Metal Industries, a large multi-state manufacturing firm. Admired by all who worked with her, she was a testament to hard work and dedication. Though some considered her a workaholic, those closest to her knew her priorities were her relationship with Jesus, her family, and her career.

Outside of Metal Industries, Betty played a significant role in developing the Bridgeport Estates neighborhood in Safety Harbor, despite having no prior experience. She made most of the financial and construction decisions for the 100-plus home neighborhood, which includes Walker Road, named after her influential employer and supporter, Tokey Walker, and Parrish Lane, commemorating her beloved parents and eight siblings.

Betty understood that time was a gift from God and rarely misused it. She only watched news shows, sports, or hundreds of Charles Stanley sermons on TV. She enjoyed watching many sports, including golf and tennis, and cheering on her Dallas Cowboys. She never tired of watching reruns of the Summer and Winter Olympics, with gymnastics being her favorite.

In retirement, Betty was known for her charitable nature, both with her finances and her time. She was a popular leader in Bible Study Fellowship and dedicated herself to caring for the bedbound and terminally ill, bringing moments of joy to those in need until it was physically no longer possible.

When home, Betty spent much of her time at her breakfast nook, reading her Bible and devotionals while enjoying views of the Intracoastal Waterway with frequent dolphin sightings. She cherished thousands of sunsets, many of which she enjoyed while relaxing on her dock.

Betty was extremely close with her siblings and rarely missed the large annual family reunions in the greater Dallas, Texas area. Above all, she cherished her time with her family and was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She made significant personal sacrifices to give her children an enviable childhood while preparing them to be God-fearing, responsible adults.

Betty’s grandchildren were benefactors of frequent outings in her pontoon boat, enjoying trips to Mr. Walker’s nursery farm in Brooksville, sleepovers in a three-story treehouse, and go-cart rides throughout the nursery. Most importantly, her grandchildren witnessed her consistent walk with the Lord.

Betty is survived by her children: Ron Woodbury (Donella) of Largo, Jane Meredith (Bradley) of St. Petersburg, and Jim Woodbury (Valerie) of Fairview, Tennessee. She leaves behind seven cherished grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. Betty was preceded in death by her husbands, Ralph Woodbury and Mike Falkingham, as well as six sisters and two brothers, making her the last of the Parrish family.

The family will hold a private Celebration of Life to honor Betty’s memory. In lieu of flowers, they ask that donations be made to one of her favorite charities, Shepherd’s Village, continuing her legacy of care and compassion.

Betty’s warmth, strength, and unwavering faith will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her. Her legacy will live on in the hearts of her family and friends.

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