Betty Jean Groff, 79, of Russellville, Ark., formerly of Houston, died Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center.

She was born November 29, 1934, at Lancaster, Ill., to Henry Elmer and Effie Mae Mathena York. She attended nursing school right out of high school and worked as a nurses’ aide and physical therapist in nursing homes in Illinois and Missouri. She ministered along side her husband for 62 years in churches in Illinois, Missouri, Texas and Arkansas and spent her life ministering to others. Her greatest joy was her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Billy Ray Groff; and eight brothers and sisters, Ancil York, Mary York, Howard York, Joy Spond, Hazel Nepote, Edna Mae Weir, Glenn York and Esther Burket.

Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Dennis and Ruth Groff of Branson, Mo.; two daughters and sons-in-law, Cathy and Mike Littlefield of Russellville, Ark., and Gloria and Bob Possage of Chickalah, Ark.; a brother and sister-in-law, Ralph and Evelyn York of Mt. Carmel, Ill.; eight grandchildren and their spouses, Chris and Tim Ferguson of Pelham, Alabama, Sharra and Adam Smith of Branson, Shanna and Toby Roberts of Charleston, Ark., Shayna and B. J. Crain and Denise and Trevor Bettley of Branson, and Niki Possage, Bobby Possage and Miranda Possage of Chickalah; and eight great-grandchildren, Kindell and Onnalyce Smith, Jessica Joy and Grace Ann Ferguson, Caiden Bettley, Fischer Roberts, and Dominic and Tiara Crain.

The graveside service and burial was 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, in Brearley Cemetery at Dardanelle, officiated by Dennis Groff and Michael Crites, and under the direction of Shinn Funeral Service of Russellville.

The online obituary and guestbook are available at


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