Betty Lee Afflerbach, a retired reference librarian for the Texas Medical Association in Austin, died January. 10, 2013, in Fort Worth as a result of Alzheimer's disease. She was 85.
Betty was born in 1927 in Fabens, Texas, and spent her early childhood in nearby El Paso. She moved with her mother and stepfather, Elizabeth and Robert Witte, to Texas City in the early 1940s and graduated from Texas City High School. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1948 with a degree in English. A love of books and language was a lifelong passion.
She married Charles W. Afflerbach in 1949 and they lived for several years in Del Rio, where he worked for Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. They relocated to Corpus Christi in 1954 and moved with their eight children to Austin in 1968.
In 1969, Betty earned a master's degree in library science from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. She joined the Texas Medical Association in Austin as a reference librarian in 1969 and eventually became director of the library, which researched medical topics for doctors across Texas in the era before the Internet. She retired from TMA in 1988.
In retirement, she continued her interest in books -- Southwest history, true crime, the Civil War and many other topics -- and in classic movies. In 1996, she and her husband, Charley, along with a handful of passengers, sailed on a cargo ship to Australia and New Zealand. They spent three months at sea, and the first thing Betty did aboard ship was organize its library. They also spent many weekends at their beloved rural getaway called "Twelve Mile" outside Smiley, Texas. Betty was widowed in 2005 and moved to the Fort Worth area in 2008.
Survivors: children Libby Afflerbach of Willow Park, Claire Poole (Leland) of South Bend, Indiana; Chuck Afflerbach (Carolina Juarez) of Oakland, California; Tom Afflerbach (Mary) of Austin; Fred Afflerbach (Diane) of Cedar Park; David Afflerbach (Susan) of Richland Hills; Jennifer Afflerbach (Lee Beckham) of Dallas, and Sister Maria of Divine Mercy, O.Carm. of Wahpeton, North Dakota; and brother, James Witte (Carol) of Carmine, Texas; 13 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A visitation and rosary will be at 6 p.m. Sunday at Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Funeral Home. Funeral mass will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 1101 W. New Hope Drive, Cedar Park.
Memorials may be made to the James L. West Alzheimer's Center in Fort Worth (www.jameslwest.org
) or the Carmelite monastery at Carmel of Mary, 17765 78th S.E., Wahpeton, N.D., 58075.
To share memories of Betty with her family, please visit www.cookwaldencapitalparks.com