Betty L. Tilley, the daughter of Fred Arthur and Helen (Grant) Fox, was born December 29, 1937 in Paton, Iowa and departed this life February 6, 2017 at the Long Term Care in the Greene County Medical Center in Jefferson, Iowa. Betty lived her life to the age of 79 years, 1 month and 7 days.
Betty’s mother died of a brain tumor when she was ten years old. Betty and her older brother, James, grew up in Paton. Betty attended and graduated from Paton High School in 1955. She was very active during her school years. Betty was a member of the Paton Happy Hustlers’ 4-H club, played the drums in the band, was a member of the Girls Glee Club and was in mixed chorus. She was also the girls’ basketball manager. In the summer of 1954, Betty worked as a waitress at Deke’s Café in Paton and again after her graduation the next summer. While working at the café, she met her future husband, Lawrence. Betty and Lawrence were married June 17, 1956 at Salem United Methodist Church in Paton. Two children, Mark and Debra, were born to this union.
After their marriage, they made their home across the road from Lawrence’s parents, Virgil and Hattie Tilley. In the fall of 1957, Lawrence had to report to the Army. During the time Lawrence was in boot camp, Betty lived with her father in Paton and worked at the Café. After boot camp, Betty was able to join Lawrence and they lived at Fort Smith, Arkansas and later at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. In 1958, Lawrence received an early discharge because his father needed help getting the crops out and they moved back to Churdan. In 1964, they moved to a farm west of Churdan which they rented and farmed until 1982. They then rented and moved to a farm southwest of Paton. They retired in 2001 and moved to a home in Churdan. Betty enjoyed sewing and was interested in genealogy. In August of 2013, due to failing health, Betty became a resident of Regency Park Care Center in Jefferson and Lawrence would visit her every day. In December of 2015, Lawrence had health problems and joined Betty in the care center. Lawrence passed away in January of 2016.
Betty is survived by her son, Mark (Melinda) of Jefferson and their children, Brandon of Iowa City and Emma of Ames; and daughter, Debra Bauer (Warren) of Fort Dodge and their daughters, Sarah Kelly (Joel) of Omaha and Nicole Oswald (Steven) of Manson and their children, Ella and Kenton. Those who preceded her in death were her parents, husband and brother.
Funeral services were held Saturday, February 11, 2017 at United Methodist Church in Churdan with Rev. David Arulnathan officiating. Following the service, her remains were cremated and burial with Lawrence’s remains will take place at a later date in the Highland Township Cemetery in Churdan. Musical selections “In the Garden,” “The Old Rugged Cross” and “Amazing Grace” were sung by the congregation and accompanied by organist, Janice Tilley. Serving as casket bearers were Brandon Tilley, Joel Kelly, Steven Oswald, Dennis Tilley, David Tilley and Doug Sorenson. Honorary casket bearers were Emma Tilley, Sarah Kelly, Nicole Oswald and Kay Bates.
Brown Funeral Home, Churdan assisted the family.