Elizabeth “Betty” M. Humphrey, 85, passed away at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, May 1, 2019.
Betty was born in Denver, Colorado, on January 20, 1934, to Maxwell David Willson and LaRena (Dantice) Willson. There was a horrible blizzard that night and her dad had to deliver Betty at home.
Betty was a cheerleader for North Platte, Nebraska, High School and graduated in 1952. In junior high she met John Humphrey. His brother married her sister. They did lots of double dating. When John was in the Army at Leonard Wood, Missouri, they were married at the base chapel in December of 1952. Because at that time the base was only temporary, there was no available housing for married soldiers. Their first home was a converted chicken coop with no water and one extension cord. Then they moved to a better home that was a fishing shack duplex. There they had a real kitchen sink and a fruit box cupboard. They shared an outhouse with four families.
After the military they moved to Denver, Colorado, where Betty was an elevator operator at Macy’s. They moved to North Platte, Nebraska, where in 1956 their first daughter, Karen, was born. Within a year the family moved to the Los Angeles, California, area. John worked for the U.S. Post Office and delivered pieces of rock with numbers painted on it to the new amusement park, Disneyland. Come to discover it was the Matterhorn. Betty’s grandma in Anaheim always helped a lady bake pies; her name was Mrs. Knott, later to be famous for Knott’s Berry Farm.
In 1959, they added another daughter, Jenay, born in Garden Grove, California. In 1966, the LA Watts riots scared them and John was able to transfer to North Platte. Betty was very active in supporting the girls in softball and their youth fellowship and choir at First Christian Church. Both Betty and John help form the emergency React CB for the county. Betty had lots of fun helping with NPHS Class of ‘52 reunions.
In early ‘80s they bought a piece of property along the North Platte River. It was their ultimate dream to live close to the deer, birds and wilderness. Sadly John became ill in early ‘90s and they had to move into town. He passed away on May 28, 1999.
Betty had a lot of joy babysitting her granddaughter, playing hospital with blocks and babies or watching out for imaginary jungle creatures in the trees outside, and the laughter at the sticky mess in making six dozen butterhorn rolls for Thanksgiving dinner. Years later, daughter Jenay and her husband decided to move and found a perfect piece of heaven between Cabool and Mountain Grove, Missouri.
Betty envied their future life in the country and cried when they asked her to move with them in 2009 into their home and daily lives. Betty so loved the long needle pines, the two kinds of magnolias, and the redbud and dogwood trees. She loved smelling the pine, lilacs and the apple blossoms. Her favorite friends were all the animals, so many wild animals of the forest and birds at all the feeders. She had her cats that recently passed from old age. Betty was very fond of an adopted rescue dog in the home. Mya had been shot in the face and had lost her eye, ear and many teeth. Betty always massaged her head and spoiled her by sneaking food under the table to her. She liked to feel the soft ears of Dixie, another rescue who escaped from a filthy unhealthy puppy mill. Two more dogs and two more cats completed her happiness at home. Betty’s pastimes were reading and keeping up with her three granddaughters on Facebook.
Betty is survived by her two daughters: eldest daughter, Karen (Tom) Cole of Wappingers Falls, New York, and their daughters Anna of Mt. Kisco, New York, and Kate (Mike) Krzepek and their children John and Stella; and second daughter, Jenay (Dennis) Nelsen, their daughter Brooke (late Kris) Woodhouse with twins Ariah and Vincent of North Platte; Betty’s three sisters, Jean (Ray) Humphrey, JoAnne (Wes) Grady, and Deb (late Randy) Harvey, all of North Platte, Nebraska; and many nieces, nephews, family and friends all across the United States.
Betty requested no services. Cards can be sent to her home at 11791 Vernon Lane, Mountain Grove, MO 65711.