Elizabeth "Bettye" Jones

June 26, 1934 - November 12, 2020
Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Resided in Bowling Green, Kentucky


Elizabeth Josephine Selman Jones (Bettye) died on November 12, 2020, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. She was born on June 26, 1934, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the second daughter of Howard and Mary Selman. Bettye and her sister Faye were children of the Great Dust Bowl, a fact she never forgot and which seemed to strengthen her devotion to family and determination in life.

Bettye graduated from Capitol Hill High School in 1952 and attended Oklahoma Baptist University. It was there she met James Roy (Jim R.) Jones. Bettye and Jim R. married in 1954 and moved to Louisville, KY where Jim R. attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and their first child, James Gregory (Greg) was born. After Jim R. completed his Masters Degree in Sacred Music, the family moved to Bowling Green, KY in 1956 and Jim R. became the first full-time Minister of Music at the First Baptist Church. Bettye and Jim R.’s second son, Howard Michael (Mike) was born in 1957. In 1962, the family moved to Atlanta, Georgia where Jim R. served Atlanta’s First Baptist Church as its Minister of Music.

While in Atlanta, Bettye returned to school and earned her Master’s Degree in Nursing Education from Emory University, graduating in 1966. The following year, the Jones Family returned to Bowling Green
where Bettye and Jim R. joined the faculty of Western Kentucky University, she in the Nursing Department and he in the Music Department. Bettye spent her nursing career teaching at WKU and served as the Head of the Nursing Department during the mid-1970s. The Joneses also renewed their ties at First Baptist Church. Bettye enjoyed participating in the choirs at First Baptist, and in later life, volunteered in the Children’s Sunday School ministry.

Bettye was a voracious reader, an exacting intellect, a passionate educator, and a fiercely loyal friend. She loved beautiful music, the study of history, and the company of a good dog, but her greatest joy was her family. Bettye was a devoted daughter, sister, wife and mother.

Bettye is predeceased by her parents, her beloved sister and brother-in-law, Faye and Cecil Ligon, and her life’s best friend and husband of 40 years, Jim R. Jones. She is survived by her sons Greg (Becky) of Ft. Wright, Kentucky, and Mike (Phoebe) of Bowling Green. She is also survived by granddaughters Dr. Jordan Jones of Louisville, Kentucky and Emily Jones of Bowling Green, as well as numerous nephews and nieces whom she loved dearly.

Visitation in compliance with Covid 19 pandemic restrictions will be held from 2:00-3:00 pm, Saturday, Nov. 14th at the J.C. Kirby and Son Lovers Lane Chapel. The memorial celebration of Bettye’s life will immediately follow at 3:00 pm.

Bettye chose cremation. Inurnment at Western Kentucky University’s Chandler Chapel will take place at the family’s convenience.

In lieu of flowers, gifts in Bettye’s honor may be made to the Bowling Green Warren County Humane Society or a charity of the donor’s choice.




Walk-Thru Visitation
J. C. Kirby and Son Lovers Lane Chapel
820 Lovers Lane
Bowling Green, KY 42103
Saturday, November 14, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Memorial Celebration
J. C. Kirby and Son Lovers Lane Chapel
820 Lovers Lane
Bowling Green, KY 42103
Saturday, November 14, 2020
3:00 PM


Bowling Green / Warren County Humane Society
P.O. Box 1456
Bowling Green, KY 42102
No donation is too small to make a difference in the life of a homeless animal. Your donations make it possible for us to provide the very best care for the animals in our care, including special needs pets who rely on you for their second chances.