Mary Elizabeth Shryock ( Brickell )

Mary Elizabeth Shryock ( Brickell )
Known as ... Bettye
                                born: April 7, 1916
Clarendon, Arkansas

Married: Carter Raleigh Brickell
              January 7, 1934
                                born: January 9, 1914
Brinkley, Arkansas
died: July 29, 2002

      Mary Elizabeth ( Bettye ) was the fifth of nine children.  She was born in Clarendon, Arkansas on April 7, 1916, the day after the United States Congress declared war on Germany and entered World War I.

      Her first thirteen years were spent in the picturesque White River town of Clarendon.  One vivid memory of these early years was when her father brought in a doctor from Little Rock to remove the tonsils of his six youngest children.  All of the "operations" were performed on the dining room table.

      In September, 1929 the family moved 18 miles to Brinkley.  There Bettye became a cheerleader for the Brinkley Tigers and met the boy she would marry, Carter Raleigh Brickell.  Carter was a guard for the Tigers, and in the one game that he began on the bench, the feisty Bettye organized the stands to yell "We want Carter" until the coach became so angry that he made Carter sit out the entire game.

      Bettye also excelled as a singer and elocutionist, studying in Memphis and performing in various towns in northern Arkansas.  Her proudest performances, however, were for the Brinkley Rotary Club at the frequent invitation of her father and his friends.

      Bettye and Carter were married in a ceremony at the Church of Christ in Brinkley on January 7, 1934.

      In April, 1934 the young couple went to Syracuse, New York via Buffalo and Niagara Falls.  They considered the trip their belated honeymoon.

      In Syracuse, Bettye began a career as a singer, performing at a nightclub in upper New York State.  After nine months Carter decided that it was "too damned cold" living in Syracuse and the couple returned to Brinkley where Carter went to work at the Monroe County Citizen as a printer.  As it was the height of the Great Depression, he was happy to make $15 a week.

      Bettye gave birth to their first child on November 13, 1936 - a daughter that she named Mollie Elizabeth for the baby's two grandmothers.  They called her Mollie Beth until she started school, then Beth.

      The baby was seven months old when Bettye and Carter moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas.  There Carter worked first as a printer for Smith Printing Company, then as a custom bowyer for the Ben Pearson Archery Company.  A second daughter, Beverly Bliss, was born on August 20, 1938, and a son, Carter Raleigh, Jr. on February 7, 1943.

      The country was engaged in World War II.  The Brickells sold their home in Pine Bluff and moved to New Orleans to join those at work in defense plants.  Bettye went to work for General Dynamics as an inspector of the PBY Catalina, an amphibious airplane.  Carter worked as a burner for Delta Shipyards.

      When the war ended the Brickells moved back to Pine Bluff where Carter worked again at Ben Pearson.  Bettye and Carter had taken up archery as a sport and they both won many tournaments.  Even Beth participated in the junior division.  When all three Brickells won their respective divisions in one city tournament the local sports page headline read "Brickells Make Clean Sweep of Archery Tournament".  Carter won multiple championships, including several Arkansas state tournaments, Louisiana State, New Orleans city and a tri-state championship for Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee.  Bettye won fourth place in the Women's Clout Shoot of the National Archery Tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1946.

      In Pine Bluff, Bettye was also active as secretary of the Sam Taylor Parent-Teachers' Association and as a troop leader for Brownies and Girl Scouts.

      In 1946, The Brickells moved to Camden, Arkansas.  Here Carter went to work as a printer for the Hurley Printing Company, soon being promoted to foreman.  Bettye became a member of the Girl Scout Council and after training in Little Rock, Arkansas and Birmingham, Alabama became a Certified Trainer of Leaders for the Girl Scouts of America.  Subsequently, she trained leaders in towns and cities throughout Arkansas and inspired Beth to achieve a Curved Bar, the Girl Scout equivalent of an Eagle Scout.  During this time, Carter was active as a leader in the Boy Scouts.

      Also in Camden, Bettye taught a Sunday School class and Vacation Bible School at the First Methodist Church, was a member of the Teentown Council, and directed plays for the PTA and Girl Scouts.  She became an avid bridge player and member of two duplicate bridge clubs.  She worked for a short time at France's Gift Shop, taught speech and expression to some 25 youngsters and later worked for The Camden News as Society Editor.  The most difficult work she would ever experience was in 1950 when she worked for the U.S. Census Bureau.  She "walked a thousand miles" in order to purchase the Brickell' first automobile when Beth became old enough to drive at fourteen.  It was a red 1946 Ford coupe.

      In 1956, Carter accepted the position of Manager for Clarke & Courts Printing Company in Dallas, Texas and moved the family to that city.  Bettye served as an assistant Sunday School teacher at the Highland Park Methodist Church and played bridge with three different clubs in Dallas, accumulating National Master points in the American Contract Bridge League.

      In 1957, Carter accepted the position of Manager for Barton Printing Company in Tucson, Arizona and the family moved once again.  Bettye was a member of the Tucson Woman's Club and several duplicate bridge clubs.  She played in a national tournament at Prescott, Arizona and won enough additional National Master points to become certified as an American Master by the American Contract Bridge League.

      In 1958, Carter went to work for the Anchor Printing Company in Fort Worth, Texas.  Bettye went to work full time as a proofreader, first at Trinity Tvpesetters, then for the Fort Worth Linotyping Company.  They lived in Fort Worth for 29 years.  Bettye attended night classes at the University of Texas at Arlington for two and one-half years, qualifying for the Dean's List with all A's and one B+.

      In 1960, Bettye and Carter's first grandchild was born to their youngest daughter, Beverly Bliss.  They had three grandchildren.

      Bettye retired from work in 1985, and Carter in 1986, in 1987 they sold their home at 1126 Buck Avenue in Fort Worth and moved to Clarendon, Arkansas where they bought a home at 2 Shady Acres.  Bettye transferred her church membership to the First United Methodist Church in Clarendon, the church of her early childhood.  She joined the Pines Country Club and began playing bridge again.  She also became a member of the Tall Oaks Garden Club.

      In June, 1989 Bettye and Carter hosted a Shryock family reunion at their Clarendon home.  Some 113 family members and friends traveled from allover the United States to attend the first reunion of the family of Lewis Gilbert and Mary Elizabeth Shryock in 30 years.

      Carter has remained a member of the Church of Christ.  His hobby in retirement is gardening.

      Beth attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville where she was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science.  After graduate work at Edinburgh University and a year in Europe, she lived in New York City where she became an actress, performed in the theater, and was accepted for life membership in the Actors Studio.  She moved to Hollywood and starred for two seasons on the CBS-TV family series Gentle Ben, in dozens of other TV series, TV movies, and three motion pictures.  After obtaining a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the American Film Institute, she put aside her acting career and became a writer, producer, and director.

      Beverly, who later used her middle name Bliss, attended the University of Arizona and Arizona State University.  In El Paso, Texas she married Thomas Arlen Craig, an aerospace engineer who graduated with honors from Southern Methodist University.  Two children were born to them: a son, Thomas Arlen, Jr., and a daughter, Elizabeth Kimberly.  After 11 years, Bliss divorced and moved to Hollywood where she had a career as a television and motion picture extra and stand-in.  There she met her second husband, Denis Richard Hall, a singer, writer, and concert producer.  They were married in Maryland and had one son, Richard Carter Brickell Civitas.

      Raleigh, nicknamed Claude, joined the U.S. Army after high school and served on a special assignment to N.A.T.O. in Germany.  Following the service, he went to Paris where he attended the American College for three years and the Sorbonne.  He returned to the United States and graduated from New York University with a major in film.  Subsequently, he went to Hollywood where he worked in the film industry as an executive and as a writer.

Mary Elizabeth ( Shryock) and Carter Brickell
on their honeymoem in Niagra Falls, New York

Mary Elizabeth ( Shryock ) and Carter Brickell
with their daughter Mollie Beth

Mary Elizabeth ( Shryock )
and Carter Brickell with
son Raleigh
       Mollie Beth Brickell with her
Grandmother, Mary Elizabeth
Shryock ( L.G.'s wife )

Mary Elizabeth ( Shryock) and Carter Brickell and family
at family reunion in Clarendon, Arkansas - 1989
(Beth, Raleigh, Bettye, Carter, Bliss, Tom (Bliss' son), Kim (B1iss' daughter) )

Carter Brickell and son, Raleigh

Mary Elizabeth ( Shryock) Brickell and daughters
( Beth, Bettye, Bliss )

Family of Mary Elizabeth ( Shryock ) and Carter Brickell

In Order by Age - Oldest First

Mollie Elizabeth ( Beth ) Brickell        b. November 13, 1936    d.
m. James Victor Spencer III, Sept. 14, 1991        b. June 29, 1944    d.
          Mary Carol Spencer        b. March 16, 1971    d.
          Christopher James Spencer        b. March 20, 1975    d.
          Elizabeth Anne Spencer
                ( Beth's step-children )
       b. April 8, 1981    d.

Beverly Bliss Brickell ( Craig )
                                  ( Hall )
       b. August 20, 1938    d.
m. Thomas Arlen Craig, October 19, 1957        b. January 2, 1936    d.
                ( Divorced September 18, 1968 )
          Thomas Arlen Craig, Jr.        b. October 2, 1960    d.
          m. Sarah Garcia, Aug. 17, 1991        b. September 10, 1964    d.
          Elizabeth Kimberly Craig        b. January 29, 1962    d.
m. Denis Richard Hall, September 4, 1974        b. March 17, 1937    d.
          Richard Carter Brickell Civitas Hall        b. January 13, 1973    d.

Carter Raleigh ( Claude) Brickell        b. February 7, 1943    d.

This page was last updated: June 17, 2020
© Copyright 2000 - - William M. Shryock, Jr. - All Rights Reserved