Betty Jo Smith, nee DePuy, a long-time resident of Paradise Valley, passed away peacefully in her home on Friday, the 7th of February 2020.
Born on August the 13th, 1927, to Warren and Eva DePuy, in Livingston, MT, Betty was raised a true Montana ranch girl, helping her family on the fur farm, the fish hatchery and becoming an excellent horsewoman. She graduated high school in 1945, continuing her education at Montana State College, from which she received a Bachelor of Science degree in the animal industry in 1949. College is also where Betty saw and fell in love with her first Suffolk sheep, spurring a lifelong commitment to breeding and showing award winning animals at the Montana Winter Fair, Park County Fair, and the NILE in Billings. Over the years she also sold many markets lambs to 4-H members.
Betty met Walter “Smitty” Smith at the Chicago International Livestock Show in 1951 and they were married in 1952. They moved to Kentucky where Betty developed a close life-long friendship with her brother and sister-in-law, Louis and Grace Smith. After spending two and a half years there, they moved back to the family ranch where they raised their two children.
After her husband passed away, Betty continued living on the ranch, caring for the sheep, and greeting fishermen at DePuy Spring Creek. She was known for tracking mountain lions, caring for the ranch and the sheep throughout the harshest winters, and bringing a smile to anyone who had the opportunity to meet such a definitive example of a strong, independent, (and sometimes stubborn) Montana ranch gal. Betty was loved by many, young and old and will be greatly missed. She has now “carried her last pail of water.”
Betty was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Smitty, her brother Richard DePuy, and her sister, Cheryl DePuy Murray.
She is survived by her brother David (Shirley) DePuy of Livingston, daughter Sue (Steve) Kaul of Belgrade, son Daryl (Theresa) Smith of Livingston, and her grandchildren, Heather (Zach) Reeves of Bozeman, Nathan (Rebecca) Kaul of Portland, OR, and Daniel Smith of Livingston.
In lieu of flowers, Betty requested donations be sent to Stafford Animal Shelter, 3 Business Park Road, Livingston, MT 59047.
A Celebration of Life open house will be held March 9th, 2020 from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM at the Livingston Depot Center.
Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory has been entrusted with arrangements.
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