Elizabeth (Betsy) Forehand Smith passed from this life into the loving arms of the Lord on the morning of November 4, 2023, in Sun City, Arizona surrounded by her loving family after a brief battle with cancer. Betsy faced death just like she faced life with grace, dignity, and a deep faith in the Lord. Betsy was beloved by her husband, children, grandchildren and many nieces and nephews as well as many friends.
Betsy was born January 13, 1939, to Roy and Masie Forehand in Carlsbad, New Mexico. She grew up on the family ranch south of town. Betsy attended Carlsbad schools where she was active in many clubs and activities. While at Carlsbad High School, she met the love of her life, Harlen Smith. They graduated in 1957 and attended New Mexico State University. While at NMSU, Betsy was active in the Chi Omega Sorority acting as president and in student government. She was the first woman Vice President of the Student Body.
After earning her degree in Physical Education, Betsy went on to teach in the Las Cruces school district. She and Harlen married in 1961. She continued to teach until the birth of their daughter, Renee. Their son, Roy, was born the next year. That’s when Betsy began her true vocation as a mother. Betsy devoted herself to her family, becoming the best wife and mother. She achieved that perfect balance of being supportive without smothering and setting boundaries while giving her kids room to grow. She was the ultimate fan at her children’s sporting events, cheering them on from the stands at almost every game and meet.
The family moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1971 and then to Socorro, New Mexico in 1982. There, Betsy became active in many volunteer organizations, especially PEO where she served in several offices including president. She also served in the Presbyterian Church as a deacon, elder, and delegate to the Presbytery and General Assembly. After her children were older, Betsy worked as a tour guide in Santa Fe and then as a realtor for 25 years in Socorro.
Betsy had the gift of hospitality, making everyone she encountered feel welcome and included. She brought joy to all she met and was quick to compliment or offer words of encouragement. She embodied the meaning of family, faith, and servanthood. She loved to travel, especially with her family. She was always up for trying new experiences and loved a good laugh.
Betsy was preceded in death by her parents and sisters. She is survived by her loving husband, Harlen Smith; daughter, Renee (Steve) Comen; son, Roy (Tina) Smith; grandchildren, Masie (Andrew) Martin, Aaron Comen, Matt Zimmerman, Jacqueline (Armando) Hassey, and Everett Butler; four great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Services and Inurnment of Betsy’s remains will be at 10:00 AM, Saturday, December 2, 2023, at First Presbyterian Church, 309 West Shaw Street, Carlsbad, New Mexico. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education.