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Betty Jo Denman Roller – April 5, 2018

Betty Jo Denman Roller, 85, of Amarillo, Texas, went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on April 5, 2018, after battling cancer.

Betty Roller was born on March 28, 1933, in Channing, Texas to Ambrose Jackson and Allee Lavenia Denman.

Betty spent her early year in Channing before moving to Amarillo. She graduated from Amarillo High School in 1951.  She went on to Amarillo College then completed her degree at West Texas State University, Betty played for decades in the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dr. A. Clyde Roller, who introduced her to his younger brother and fellow musician Dr. Dale A. Roller.  There was an instant spark and Betty and Dale married September 7, 1957, in Amarillo, Texas.

In 1984, Betty went on to get her Masters of Music Education as she continued to lead Band and Orchestra at several Amarillo schools.  Until recently, the Amarillo High School Marching Band would come to their home annually in preparation for the fair parade and serenade Betty at her home. She is well known for her humor and talent, as well as her gift of pouring into her students.  There was seldom a day when Betty was not stopped and hugged by a former student. Over the years, it was more and more difficult to place each student and the school where she taught them but always remembered the face and the instrument they played. In addition, Betty loved the many student teachers who worked alongside her throughout her career.  So many of her student teachers have gone on to leadership roles in Band and Orchestra.  She has literally touched the lives of thousands of students sharing her love of music, marching band, family, and Jesus.

Betty Roller retired from the Amarillo Independent School District in 1991, after 33 years of service.  For her dedication and excellence, Betty was named the Texas Orchestra Director of the year, named to the Amarillo High School Sandie Hall of Fame, and the Distinguished Alumna Award from Amarillo College.  She also won the Bob Ashworth award for her service to the Amarillo Public School system. After her retirement, she stayed involved as she and her husband Dale continued to work as the UIL Executive Secretary, Region 1 Music.

Betty is survived by her loving husband, Dale of Amarillo, Texas; their oldest son, Scott Roller of Stuttgart, Germany; and his children Sean Roller and his wife Theresa; Megan Roller and Tim Roller; Betty’s middle son, Kirk Roller of Austin, Texas and his wife, Anne and their children, Beth Roller and Blake Roller; Betty’s youngest son Jeff Roller of Amarillo and his wife, Carol as well as their children, Josh Roller, and Jenna Roller.

The memorial service will be at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at First Christian Church, Amarillo, Texas.  Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.


In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation to the Greater Southwest Music Festival; or to a charity of your choice.


  • Ron and Dottie Wells Posted April 8, 2018 2:34 pm

    We’re so sorry for your loss and wish we could be there to give our condolences in person.

  • Margaret Detten Posted April 9, 2018 12:42 am

    So sorry for your loss. Betty was a very special person and enjoyed working and knowing her. She will be missed.

  • Jim & Vanessa Rauscher Posted April 9, 2018 11:40 am

    Dear Dale & family,
    We were so sorry to hear about Betty’s passing. She was a remarkable woman, and we were honored and blessed to have known her. Dale, you and your entire family have been such an important part of our lives for these past 37 years, when you took a chance on an unknown pianist from Wisconsin & University of Illinois to join the Amarillo College faculty. You are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
    Jim & Vanessa Rauscher

  • Todd Merriman Posted April 9, 2018 4:23 pm

    Our world lost a great inspiring lady and teacher. I owe her so very much due to her love of music and love of teaching. Her life touched many, many kids. Because of Betty Roller the sound of beautiful music will continue for generations.

  • Ronetta Thomas Mills Posted April 11, 2018 11:41 am

    Dear Rollers,
    I am so sorry to hear of Betty’s passing. She was such a treasure and an important part of my life and love of music. She taught me to play cello in fourth grade at Ridgecrest and I have carried it with me for all the 48 years since. Played in the cello section with Scott through Crockett and AHS and sang in the church choir with Dale at St. Paul United Methodist. Your family has been an irreplaceable part of my life that I will always treasure.
    Ronetta (Thomas) Mills

  • Ronetta Thomas Mills Posted April 11, 2018 11:44 am

    Dear Mr. Roller and family,
    I am sorry to hear of Mrs. Roller’s passing. She was the one who introduced me to the cello at Ridgecrest many years ago. I played in orchestras with Scott at Crockett and AHS and I sang in the choir with you at St. Paul United Methodist. I will always treasure those memories of your family.
    Ronetta (Thomas) Mills

  • Pano & Dianne Mata Posted April 11, 2018 9:21 pm

    Dale & Family,
    We are saddened by the news of Betty’s passing. Our hearts go out to you. We have the most fondest memories of Betty from our early years in education working side by side at Crockett MS. She was a great mentor for me. I’ll always treasure the memories and the letters that we received from her at Christmas over the decades. Prayers for the family during this difficult time.

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