Bettye “Pep” Pepper, 1945-2011

Longtime Dallas resident and my good friend Bettye “Pep” Pepper died this morning at Hearthstone Hospice in Irving following a courageous battle against cancer.

A memorial service and celebration of her life will be held tomorrow — Saturday, April 30 — at Joe’s/The Brick. Everyone who knew and loved her is invited to attend. Pep’s body will be returned to her hometown in Benton, Mississippi, where funeral services are pending.

Pepper worked many years as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines. She then worked several years as a bartender for Joe Elliott at Jugs, then later for Howard Okon at Joe’s Place. The last several years, she worked for Home Depot on Lemmon Avenue in Oak Lawn.

There are so many things to say about Pep that there’s no way to say it all here. She was a true Virgo: Ask her what time it was, and she would tell you how to make a clock. She held a treasure trove of trivia in her mind and loved to tell stories and recite poetry. She also loved to tinker with things, to take things apart when they were broken and try to fix them and put them back together. And a lot of the times, when she put them back together, they did work, even if she had parts left over. She had a great laugh, and an excellent sense of humor. Her favorite TV channel was PBS.

She was a true and loyal friend, fierce about standing up for the people she loved and the causes she believed in.

Pep loved her family more than anything, and there were so many friends she thought of as family. Rest in peace, Bettye Pepper. We will miss you very much.