Betty grew up in the Pomona/Willow Springs, Missouri, area and attended school at both Pomona and Willow Springs. She was a 1965 graduate of Willow Springs High School. Betty began playing softball at an early age, and with encouragement and coaching from her father, she developed a passion for the sport. She was also active in the youth group at First Christian Church of Pomona. While attending the church, she accepted Christ and was baptized on February 1, 1957.
After graduating from high school, Betty married her high school sweetheart, Perry Edwin Durnell, on February 5, 1966 at First Christian Church in Pomona. To this union, three children were born, Dean, Gail, and Stacy.
Betty worked as a cashier at Town & Country Supermarket for many years, and most recently for G&W Foods for nearly 20 years. Through this employment, she made many friends and acquaintances, and enjoyed visiting with and serving her customers. She never met a stranger and knew the birthdays of many of her customers and other townspeople. Betty loved watching hummingbirds at the numerous feeders she kept filled on her front porch. She also enjoyed the wildlife that came to her back yard on a regular basis. Betty had a great love of sports and enjoyed watching her kids and grandkids in their ballgames and track meets. She was known to her grandkids as “Grandma Betty Boop.”
Betty was preceded in death by her grandparents, Claude and Doshia Miller and Johnny and Anna Williams; her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Amo and LaVern Durnell; and a very special family friend, Jim Cox.
She is survived by husband Perry of the home; her son, Dean Durnell and wife Lisa of Willow Springs; her daughter, Gail Hayes and husband Roger of Houston, Missouri; her son, Stacy Durnell of Cabool, Missouri; her parents, Lavern and Jessie Mae Miller of Willow Springs; a sister, Beverly Tooley and husband Kenneth of Willow Springs; her grandchildren, Elizabeth and Alyssa Hayes, Emily and Ty Durnell, and Sydney Durnell; many other family and friends who will miss her dearly.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, January 8, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. in Yarber Mortuary, Willow Springs, with J.T. Tooley officiating. Pallbearers will be Mitch Harris, Ed Darnell, Stephen Darnell, Michael Tooley, Laynie Noble, Mike Chritton, and J.D. Cox.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to: Willow Springs Scholarship Club, P.O. Box 484, Willow Springs, MO 65793. Please memo the checks to “Betty Durnell Memorial Scholarship.”