Elizabeth "Betty" Wright, of Ames, passed away on January 27, 2021, at Heartwood House. Due to the Covid-19 situation, a memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.
Betty was born on April 23, 1932, to Charles E. and Alice Libby Johnson in Newton, Massachusetts. Before she entered high school, she and her family moved to Portland, Maine. Betty graduated from Deering High School in Portland in 1950. She worked for an insurance company and the Episcopal Diocese of Maine. In 1951, Betty met a young Airman Herbert Wright from Michigan as he stationed at Fort Williams at Cape Elizabeth, Maine during the Korean Conflict. Following a courtship that took place through the mail, as Herb was stationed in different places and returned to Michigan to start college again, Herb and Betty were married at Woodsford Congregational Church in Portland, ME on August 28, 1954. Herb completed his BS and MS at Michigan State University while Betty worked for the University. Daughter Ann and son John were born in Lansing, Michigan before the family moved to Ames, Iowa. At the time, the families wondered aloud about the unknown world of Iowa.
After the kids were in school, Betty went to college at Iowa State University and became active in a new organization for Adult Students on campus. She was named Outstanding Adult Student in 1975. She graduated with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication in 1975. She did graduate work in ESL.
Betty was an active member of the Ames community over the years. She was active at both Northminster Presbyterian Church and later at Collegiate Presbyterian Church. Betty served as an Elder, Christian Education recruiter, and many committees at Northminster. Betty served on the Rummage Committee at Collegiate for many years. Betty was active with the Friends of Foreign Wives, including tutoring women in English. She was a part of Beyond Welfare and served on the Bicycle Committee as they advised the City Council. She was a Hospice volunteer. She was active member of Iowa State University Women's Club.
After she and Herb retired, they spent winters in Florida and then in Texas. In the summers, they enjoyed their favorite place in the world, Wilderness State Park, just outside of Mackinaw City, Michigan. In addition to these times on the road, Betty's greatest joy was spending time with her family.
After Betty was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, she participated in research projects with the Kinesiology Department at Iowa State. She enjoyed ballroom dancing, singing, and boxing as a research participant.
Betty is survived by her husband of 66 years, Herb; daughter, Ann Johnson, Monroe; son, John (Linda) Wright, Carmel, Indiana; six grandchildren, Melinda (Aaron) Bryan, Grimes; Lauren (Doug) Zhang, Carmel IN; Stephanie Wright, Chicago; Erin Rouse, Des Moines; Tyler Wright, Carmel, IN; and Callie Rouse, Ypsilanti, Michigan; three great-grandchildren, Aidan and Genevieve Bryan, Grimes and Caroline Zhang, Carmel, IN, one sister, Grace Craig, Amherst, MA and one brother, David Johnson, Acton, MA. She is preceded in death by her parents, her stepmother, Lucille Johnson, and two sisters, Cynthia Ward and Alice Park.
The family requests no flowers. Memorials be directed to the Iowa State Foundation to Parkinson's Disease Research for Kinesiology at Iowa State University. Memorial contributions in honor of Betty may also be directed to Northcrest Community or the Northcrest Foundation, 1801 20th Street, Ames, Iowa 50010.