Betty Lou Elrod, age 87, of Sherwood, AR. & formerly of Arkadelphia, AR., passed away on September 12, 2018. Betty Lou was born in Smackover, Arkansas to the late Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Warren. Mrs. Betty Lou Elrod was the beloved wife of the recently deceased former president and longtime chancellor of Ouachita Baptist University, Dr. Ben M. Elrod.
She is remembered for her lifelong devotion to her husband throughout his lasting legacy of leadership and service at Ouachita and during his decade as president and beyond.
It is impossible to separate Betty Lou Elrod's life from that of her husband. She worked tirelessly alongside him with joy and encouragement throughout all of his numerous leadership accomplishments at Ouachita Baptist University.
As a 1952 graduate of Ouachita, she was awarded the distinguished alumna award in 1998 in recognition of her service to the university and her devotion to the institution starting with her student days until her death.
Dr. and Mrs. Elrod were honored by the university community in 2009 with the dedication of Ben and Betty Elrod Boulevard, which was designed as the main entrance to campus from Highway 7.
The Board of Trustees named Ouachita's Ben M. Elrod Center for Family and Community in Dr. Elrod's honor upon his retirement as president. The new Elrod Center was dedicated in 2015 as a further recognition of their life of commitment to servant leadership, volunteerism and community service.
"Mrs. Elrod was totally supportive of her husband in his leadership role," reflected Ian Cosh, vice president for community and international engagement and director of the Elrod Center. "Each time I visited them in retirement she was interested in and encouraging of the Center's mission to equip a new generation of students to serve."
Mrs. Elrod also served alongside Dr. Elrod, an ordained minister, when he pastored churches in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma as well as president of Oakland City College in Indiana, Georgetown College in Kentucky and Arkansas' Independent Colleges and Universities. She was always impeccably dressed, vivacious, witty, and famous for her delectable chocolate cake, and an insatiable love of all things sweet, especially chocolate!
Mrs. Elrod is survived by daughter, Cindy Elrod Stroud; son, Bill Elrod; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, brother Earl Warren and sister-in-law Patt. She was predeceased by her husband Ben Elrod, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Warren and her brother, Bill Warren.
A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Visitation will take place following the conclusion of the service in the Fellowship Hall. Burial will be 2:00 PM Sunday, September 16, 2018 at Greenwood Cemetery in Rison, Arkansas.
Donations in honor of her life may be made to the Elrod Center for Family and Community at Ouachita Baptist University, OBU Box 3790, Arkadelphia, AR 71998. Online register is available at