WELLINGTON, Texas — Bettie J. Moran, noted Southwestern artist, passed away on Jan. 2, 2013. She was born Elizabeth June Sumner on March 30, 1925, in Wellington, Texas. Her parents were T.D. “Mickey” Sumner, a hard-working commercial building contractor, and Mildred Louise Russell, a homemaker and artist.
Bettie credited her parents with providing her the building blocks for her becoming a successful professional artist — the fierce drive and dedication from her father and the creative spirit from her mother. Bettie grew up at various job sites in Texas and New Mexico until the family settled in Roswell in 1939. Essentially an artist since she was old enough to hold a brush, Bettie declared her lifelong career goal at age nine. She sold her first painting at 18 and began exhibiting her work to the public in 1946. Bettie expressed her considerable artistic talent with a wide range of media, including oils, watercolors, pastels, pencil, pen and ink, acrylics, mosaics and bronze sculptures. Her subjects were traditional, non-objective and abstract.
A lifelong learner, Bettie added the study of antiques to her artistic repertoire, moving to Albuquerque to open Moran’s Antiques and Art Gallery in 1968. Although Bettie’s work is best known in the Southwest, her paintings and sculptures are in private collections all over the country. In 2004, Bettie published her autobiography The Colors and Textures of an Artist’s Life, a collection of her experiences as she lived and grew as an artist and photos of many of her works.
Bettie was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Eddie Moran and her brother Buddy Sumner. She is survived by her sister Dorothy Corn, four nieces and a nephew.
A private memorial service will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2012, at 2 p.m., at French — Lomas. Interment will be at South Park Cemetery in Roswell. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Lap Dog Rescue of NM, PO Box 1316, Tijeras, NM 87059, and lapdogrescue.org. Please visit our online guest book for Bettie at FrenchFunerals.com.