When Betty Necessary of Kingsport, Tenn., died unexpectedly on Monday, friends and family were shocked and saddened. You can read her Wednesday obituary from East Lawn Funeral Home and Dignity Memorial. Then there was a surprising discovery. Nobody had any understanding of the type of social media presence that this 73-year-old woman had developed. Friends began coming out of the woodwork! People from all over the United States were voicing their sincere grief for someone they had never even met in person.
Betty had made an impact on their lives by her online posts on Facebook, particularly her humorous posts about her husband, Ralph. It had been suggested more than once that the couple needed their own reality show on television. Her Facebook friends felt like they were part of their everyday lives.
Betty posted about Ralph’s downstairs den that she named the “wild kingdom” because of his hunting trophies on the wall. When she gave up trying to dust and clean, Ralph developed his own unconventional method. He dusted his various animal heads and other items with the leaf blower.
Betty comically posted her dismay when Ralph was sitting out on the deck in his underwear. He had forgotten that the previously vacant house next door was now occupied. It was one of the funniest accounts that this writer has ever heard anywhere. Betty’s last post on the Betty Necessary Facebook was actually about Ralph and the hummingbird feeder:
Ralph made big mess today--just filled up bird feeder the other day with sugar water--he knocks it down today swatting at bees---big mess, but got it put together and hanging up for hummingbirds again
Betty thoroughly enjoyed Ralph’s antics. You see, her whole obituary could be summed up in one statement: "Betty Necessary loved Ralph Necessary." No, that’s not right. She adored him for 55 years of marriage and even before that. She ran her life around Ralph, and she knew much about how to make a marriage work. She shared this basic wisdom with other women on the Internet, but not in a “preachy” way.
There are people in this world who are just born “encouragers,” and Betty was one of these people. Her support for all of her online and offline friends and family was a constant source of encouragement. She was quite tied down with caring for her invalid mother until she died at over 100 years old last winter. Then the unthinkable happened: Ralph fell seriously ill and was not really expected to live through it. Faithfully, Betty cared for her beloved Ralph, all the while hoping for a miracle.
The online community, with whom Betty was so closely entwined, banded together in fervent prayer for Ralph, and the prayers were answered. In what has been deemed a very unlikely scenario, he eventually made his way back home. For months, Betty had cared for her husband, and he was starting to get back to a normal life when Betty’s untimely death occurred. Her online friends who had seen Ralph through every step of the way were devastated and heartbroken to now hear the news that, despite Ralph’s miraculous progress, Betty had passed away. She will be greatly missed.
Yes, sadly, the “Ralph and Betty Show” has aired its last episode. However, Betty Necessary has impacted people all over the country with her online presence, and she will not be forgotten. In the spirit of Bible in the second chapter of Titus, Betty showed many younger women how to support their husbands and make their marriage work.