Bettye Ann Whitehead was born on May 31, 1932, in Tuscumbia, Missouri, to Dallas and Gladys (Holt) Martin. Her family moved to Roswell, NM, in the 1940’s. There, she met Gene Edsel Whitehead at Salt Creek Baptist Church, and they were married on June 9, 1950. They initially moved to Springfield, MO, and ultimately ended up in Hobbs, NM. Bettye spent many years serving as the church pianist while her husband led the singing in various churches, including Temple Baptist Church. She played the piano in her Sunday School class at First Baptist Church in Hobbs where she was a member for over 50 years.
She was on the Personnel Committee, and various other committees in her church, and was also an Ambassador for the Chamber of Commerce. Bettye and her husband, Gene, owned Atlas Building & Maintenance Co., and established B & G Transportation in 1981. Gene and Bettye were enthusiastic supporters of the Miss New Mexico Pageant for many years. They enjoyed traveling in their motor home and were able to visit most of these United States. She also enjoyed spending time with her family as much as possible.
Bettye was preceded in death by her husband of sixty-five years, Gene Whitehead; her parents, Dallas and Gladys (Holt) Martin; infant Rosemary, Jerry, Ronald, John, and Donna. She is survived by her brother, Dennis Martin and Sue, daughter Peggy McAlister and Alan, son Mike Whitehead and Molly; grandchildren Brad McAlister, Rebekah Hartkopf, Aaron Whitehead and Chrissy, Aarika Whitehead and Chelsea, Zane Elliott and Joslyn, Elizabeth Elliott, and Sean Elliott; great grandchildren Braydn Terrell, Tyler Whitehead, Michael Elliott, Jackson Whitehead, and Griffin Hartkopf; and numerous nieces and nephews.