OBITUARY: Betsy Lou Brown

Betsy Lou Brown of Marfa, Texas passed away Saturday, April 2, 2022, at Big Bend Regional Medical Center in Alpine, Texas. She died of natural causes with her family by her side. 

Betsy was born March 9, 1943, in San Angelo, Texas, to Jack E. and Mary Etta Baugh Brown. She grew up in San Angelo and graduated from San Angelo Central High School. She attended Trinity University in San Antonio, where she graduated with a degree in physical education and began a career as a teacher and coach in schools in Texas and New Mexico. Betsy later broadened her teaching skills by attending Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, where she achieved a Master of Arts degree in history. In the mid-1980s, Betsy decided to move to the Marfa area and join her parents in the operations of the Ocotillo Ranches south of Marfa. The family ranching business in Presidio County was begun when her maternal grandfather, Milton Baugh, and great-uncle, Aubrey Baugh, purchased the first properties in the late 1930s and 40s. Betsy was a natural in the ranching business; she loved the animals and the land. She was an accomplished rider and came to know every plant and animal in the area. Horses, cats and dogs were always part of her life.

She and her sister Marjo continued the ranching operations into the third generation of the family until Betsy’s retirement from the daily grind several years ago, after which Betsy moved to Marfa full time.

Betsy’s life was anchored by her faith. She was a devoted and supportive member of the First Presbyterian Church of Marfa, and her church family was dear to her.

She is survived by her brother Leighton Baugh Brown and his wife Stephanie of Manassas, Virginia, and by her sister Marjo Etta Brown Skiles and her husband Larry of Marfa; by cousins Milton Baugh III, Beth Baugh, Aubrey Baugh, Squire Brown, Sue Brown Yackel, Max Brown, Katherine (Tafi) Brown, Beverly Brown Fisk, John Brown, and Robert Brown; and by numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Betsy’s sister Judith Kay Brown Bell preceded her in death.

The family wishes to express our profound gratitude to Hazel Martinez of Marfa for her loving care and assistance to Betsy over the past few years, and to Yolanda Venegas for her kindness and care, as well.

Funeral services will be held this Saturday, April 9, 2022, at 1 p.m., at the First Presbyterian Church in Marfa, Texas, followed by interment at the family ranch cemetery. Viewing and visitation with the family will be from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Marfa Public Library, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


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