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Laci's Story

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Services for James Betterton, 23, and his wife, Laci Strickland Betterton, 25, of Rockwall, were at 1 p.m., Jan. 13, at the Forest Home Baptist Church in Kilgore with Reverends Brian Nutt and Veronica Greanead officiating. Burial followed in the Danville Cemetery. 
Mr. and Mrs. Betterton died of injuries sustained in an automobile accident just outside of Greenville on Jan. 9, 2011. 
There will be a memorial service at 10 a.m. Saturday at Kavanaugh United Methodist Church in Greenville.
James was born Feb. 2, 1987, in Midland. He attended Kilgore Public Schools and was a member of the 2005 graduating class. James was a Godly man who had made the church a part of his life. He was always happy, a stranger to no one, enjoyed music and playing golf. James loved children and teaching. In 2009 he earned a baccalaureate degree in music education from Texas A&M University-Commerce. He was currently employed as an elementary music teacher at Freeman Elementary School in Garland. James was a loving and devoted son and husband.
Laci was born Sept. 9, 1985, in Nacogdoches to J.W. and Judy Strickland. She attended Harmony public schools and was a member of the 2004 graduating class. Laci was also a Godly woman who was always happy. She loved animals and enjoyed traveling, cooking, hiking and camping. Laci was a loving and devoted daughter and wife who was full of life and truly enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. She, too, earned her baccalaureate degree in music education in 2008 from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She was currently employed as an elementary music teacher at Pullen Elementary School in Rockwall. Her love of music was celebrated throughout her life, from her singing at 5 years old with her grandfather at church on Sunday nights, to her high school choir and band days, to her college friends and their favorite concerts, all of which led her to her sweet James. She was so loved.
The Bettertons were music ministers at Westview United Methodist Church in Greenville.  James and Laci loved God, loved their families, friends and, most of all, loved each other dearly.
James is survived by his parents, Danny and Susan Richter of Kilgore; grandparents Don and Lorraine Hahne of Hemphill; aunts and uncles David and Renate Cruce of Gilmer, Anthony and Tasha Richter of Midland; and aunts Sharl Douglas of Midland and Sharon Franklin of Kilgore.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Billy and Kay Richter and James T. Cruce.
Laci is survived by her parents, J.W. and Judy Strickland of Mineola; a brother, Jimmy Strickland of Granbury; a sister, Dianna Daniel of Henderson; nephews James Michael Strickland of Granbury and Lance Daniel of Henderson; and aunts and uncles Donna and Hugh Fraser of Houston and Tommy and Sharon Vardeman of Holly Lake.  
She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Joe Vardeman, Finay Vardeman, James Wylie Strickland Sr. and Lula Bell Strickland.
James and Laci are both survived by many other loving family and friends.
Online condolences may be made at www.raderfuneralhome.com or www.heraldbanner.com.
Published on  January 14, 2011
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