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Betty Ruth Dortch McMath

Little Rock , AR, 1920 - 2019

Betty Ruth Dortch Russell McMath passed away on Thursday, December 26, 2019. She was born July 14, 1920, to Mabel Wittenberg and Thomas Steele Dortch. She was raised in Scott, Ark., where her grandparents had settled and built Marlsgate Plantation.
Betty attended Hendrix College and Washington University in St. Louis studying art. She became a well known portraitist, painting many prominent Arkansans including Governors and civic leaders. She especially enjoyed painting pictures of her childhood memories of Scott. She was the creator of the Sea Wall Mural in North Little Rock. In addition to her portraits, she did many paintings of the children selling daffodils at Cantrell and Kavanaugh and was known for her paintings of umbrellas in the rain.
Betty taught for thirty years at the Arkansas Art Center and was instrumental in starting the Artmobile Project that took art across the state to small communities. Betty won many awards regionally, including The Arts Council's Governors Award. She was active in the Junior League, The Women's Emergency Committee, The Committee of 100, Mid-Southern Water Colorists and a member of the Country Club of Little Rock and The Aesthetic Club. She was a lifelong member of the Christian Science Church.
For over forty years she was married to Henry (Rusty) Wellington Russell, who died in 1983. They enjoyed world travel with close friends. She later was married to former Governor Sid McMath until his death in 2003. She was predeceased by her sister, Judy Dortch Burrow. She is survived by her children, Diane Knight, Judy Phillips, Mary Russell, David Russell (Liz), Tom Russell (Vanessa), six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff of Elmcroft of Maumelle for the many years of loving care and support. There will be a reception at Ruebel Funeral Home from 12:30 – 2:30 on Sunday, December 29.
A private inurnment at Roselawn Cemetery will take place at a later date. In honor of their Mother, the family requests donations be made to Scott Connections supporting The Plantation Settlement.

Published December 28, 2019

Ruebel Funeral Home
6313 West Markham Street, Little Rock, AR
Phone: 501-666-0123