Betty Louise Kelley
1931 - 2011
Betty Louise Kelley, 79, passed away March 21, 2011. She was born Sept. 25, 1931 and grew up in Granite Falls, Minn.
At the age of 20, she fell in love with a “man in uniform” and married Harold “Smoke” Kelley; becoming an “Air Force wife” during 22 years of military service. These two sweethearts would have celebrated 60 years of marriage on Nov. 9, 2011.
Mrs. Kelley had several careers outside the home as well, working as a newspaper reporter, Realtor and later retired as a bank teller.
At 50, Betty and Smoke began a 10-year love affair with motorcycling. They were members of the Wings of Phoenix motorcycle club and they toured most of the U.S. and parts of Canada on two wheels. She often proclaimed that these were the best years of her life.
Upon retirement and moving to Heber/Overgaard, Mrs. Kelley was very active in the American Legion Auxiliary, Post 86, earning several merit service awards. She also took great pride in becoming a ham radio operator, call sign N7AIA.
Most recently, Smoke and Betty moved to Payson to assist in Betty’s care. The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to so many who played an important role in Betty’s treatment and comfort.
In addition to her beloved husband, Mrs. Kelley is survived by her brother, Tom (Barb) Thompson of Prescott; son, Dave (Linda) Kelley of Chandler; daughter, Joni (Gary) de Szendeffy of Payson; grandchildren, David and Kris Kelley; and great-grandsons, Gavin, Bryce and Sebastian.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Tilden and Violet Thompson.
An intimate celebration of life will take place among family and friends at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, we feel Betty would wish contributions made in her name to Hospice Compassus at 511 S. Mud Springs Rd., Payson, AZ 85541; or the Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011.
Do not remember me and weep,
I am not here, but do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
So with a smile remember me,
Because now I soar, completely free.