Betty King, 89
November 27, 1925–December 1, 2014
From the age of fourteen, when she served as an honorary page, Betty King knew she wanted to be involved in Texas politics. She wouldn’t return as a salaried employee until eight years later, in 1947, when she began working as a clerk for the House Appropriations Committee. In 1977 she was elected Senate secretary, a post she held for 54 years. One of the most familiar faces of the Texas Senate, King personified loyalty, hard work, and intelligence during her many years in state government. In her five decades at the Capitol, she worked for four lieutenant governors and 97 senators.
In 1988 her dedication was recognized by the Governor’s Commission for Women, which namd her among the Outstanding Women in Texas Government. In 2001 the Lieutenant Governor’s Committee Room was renamed in her honor and the Betty King Public Service Award was established.
Born in Port Arthur and raised in McAllen, King was a lifelong Texan. She attended the University of Texas at Austin, remaining in the city for the rest of her life. King’s activism extended outside the Capitol, as she was a member of numerous civic and philanthropic organizations. King died on December 1 following complications from Parkinson’s and cancer. On December 6, she was buried in the Texas State Cemetery, put to rest among many other notable Texas politicians. –Lauren Caruba
(Photo courtesy of the Texas Senate)