Remarkable is an adjective which means: worthy of attention; extraordinary; amazing; wonderful; outstanding; impressive; unforgettable; great; important; fantastic.
On October 15, 2022, a remarkable deaf lady, Betty Ann Rice Cabbage, El Paso, Texas, passed away suddenly from heart failure. On October 28, 2022, a service was held at the Bill Rice Ranch, Murfreesboro, TN, in her memory. This was written about her in the memorial program.
“Betty Cabbage was a remarkable person. Born July 17, 1937, her parents, Bill and Cathy Rice, were thrilled with their beautiful baby daughter. However, in early infancy, Betty became very ill with meningitis and almost died. Though she did recover, the disease left Betty Ann with total deafness.
Though she could not hear, Bill and Cathy wanted Betty to understand the Gospel. Betty’s mother worked with her daily, teaching her Bible stories and explaining that God loved her and gave His Son so that Betty could trust in Christ and have eternal life.
When Betty “heard” the Gospel, she did trust the Lord Jesus to save her, and then she helped her parents to “show” the good news of Christ to others who were deaf – thousands of others. (The Bill Rice Ranch was established for this very reason.)
In Bible college, Betty met Don Cabbage, a young evangelist who wanted to reach the Deaf with the love of Christ, and they were married. For almost sixty years Don and Betty served in ministry together.
A daughter, a wife, a mother, A life in ministry with her husband, She was…REMARKABLE!”
At the request of family members, I was privileged to share briefly at the memorial service about my remarkable friend, Betty Rice Cabbage.
The first time I met Betty was in August 1966. Through a missionary to Deaf, my husband became burdened to reach the Deaf in our community where he was pastor. Don, who was a student in Bible College, and Betty came for one week to teach our people sign language. Betty, was a lovely, friendly, outgoing, remarkable deaf lady, and immediately I knew we would be friends. That week, she talked to me about her son, Jimmy, and I nodded just like I knew sign language. Don came to my rescue to explain. Whew!
In 1973 we moved to Tennessee to be a part of the Bill Rice Ranch Deaf Ministry, and our friendship flourished. She became my best sign language teacher and we became confidants for each other sharing burdens. We shared many ministry adventures together reaching Deaf people in summer camps. She was a remarkable friend indeed.
As Betty and I served alongside each other, I learned many things about her and the remarkable example she was. She was a wonderful teacher to both deaf and hearing women.
She was a beautiful and meaningful singer in signs. She was an animal lover. She was a great mother to her three sons and only daughter. She loved them fiercely and was attentive to their needs. Betty was a faithful and loyal wife. She was by Don’s side in the good and bad times, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want. She supported him in his many ventures and in his ministry all over the USA, and many other countries, including South Korea. She was an active pastor’s wife in the church they recently founded in El Paso, Texas. She was a servant with a servant’s heart and lived sacrificially in many ways for others. She was a remarkable example.
The first time I saw Betty was in August 1966. The last time was August 5, 2022, when we attended the memorial service for her brother, Ronnie Rice, at the Bill Rice Ranch. All who know the Lord Jesus as Savior have a remarkable hope that we will meet again. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:6,8, “…we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body (alive on the earth), we are absent from the Lord …We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” Currently, Betty Cabbage is absent from her husband, Don, her children, extended family, church family, and many friends. But, she is present with the Lord, her parents, her sister and brother, her son, and thousands of people who were deaf and are now in Heaven because of Betty’s deafness. The first time I saw Betty was in 1966. The last time I saw her was in 2022. Because of the Lord Jesus, we have the remarkable hope that we will meet again.
This is written because I care…Carlene