McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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June 24, 2013

Betty Jean Booth

McALESTER — Betty Jean Booth, age 66, of Wilburton, Oklahoma, peacefully passed away early in the morning of June 20, 2013; three weeks after suffering a serious stroke. Betty was born on October 30, 1946, to R. L. (Dusty) and Ruth (Bradshaw) Hefton in Tulsa.  She spent her childhood growing up in California, until her family returned to Oklahoma and settled in Vian.  After graduating from Vian High School, Betty attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, where she earned Bachelors and Masters Degrees. 

Betty soon began her calling as a teacher and invested more than 25 years in the classroom, including 22 years at Wilburton Public Schools.  Betty was so well known as a teacher, it was more often than not that she was addressed as Ms. Booth.  In 1976, Betty married Dr. George R. Booth, Jr., in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Along with their two daughters, Jennifer Booth (Nelson) and Allison Booth (Kiesel), they made their home in Wilburton.

Betty was a vibrant part of the community. Whether it was through her service on the Board of Directors for the Southeastern Public Library System of Oklahoma, on the Kiamichi Area Nutrition Project Board, or volunteering for school events, Betty was a familiar face to her neighbors in Wilburton. Anecdotes abound of Betty’s generosity. In recent years, you could find Betty on the local campaign trail knocking doors and finding votes for the candidates of her choice.

Most of all, Betty enjoyed spending time with friends and family. That often meant embarking on shopping trips near and far and, as a long-time season ticket holder, she earned a near perfect attendance record at home OU football games. 

If you happened to see Betty over the last 20 months, there is a good chance that she took the opportunity to share photos and stories of her grandson, Oliver Finn. Betty traveled to Oliver’s home in Seminole weekly, spending two days watching Oliver while his mom and dad worked. It is hard to put into words the love Betty felt for Oliver, but it is safe to say that her time spent as a grandmother were the happiest days of her life. It is of great comfort to her family and friends that Betty spent her last well days caring for her grandson.

Whether you knew her as mom, sister, Ms. Booth, Betty, friend, or Bebe as she was known to her grandson Oliver, she will be missed by the many, many people she touched during her wonderful life.

Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. George R. Booth, Jr.  Betty is survived by her sister Myrtle Ann Clay and brother-in-law Don Clay of Muskogee.  She is also survived by two daughters and son-in-laws, Christopher and Jennifer (Booth) Nelson of Minneapolis and Ft. Myers, and Ryan and Allison (Booth) Kiesel, of Seminole. She is also survived by the light of her life, her grandson Oliver Finn Kiesel of Seminole. 

A celebration of Betty’s life will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Wilburton at 2pm on Saturday, June 22, 2013, at 209 East Ada Avenue.  Gary O. Wilburn, Pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Seminole, will officiate.  Burial will follow at Wilburton Memorial Gardens. Visitation with the family will be from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on Friday, June 21, at Waldrop Funeral Home. The family hopes to preserve stories about Betty.  If you have special memories of Betty please share those with the Funeral Home or share them with the family in the coming days.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations can be made to the charity of your choice or to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

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