LAURENS – Betty J. Wellman, 92, passed away on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, at Chestnut Park Nursing Home, Oneonta, after a long battle with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. During the last days she had the comfort and support of her family by her side.
She was born Oct. 18, 1924, in Cooperstown, the daughter of the late Norman Kent and Adeline Theodora Murphy. She grew up in Pierstown, and later moved to Laurens. She was a graduate of the Laurens Central School as salutatorian, Class of 1942. She then attended the Utica Business School.
Betty married Clarence “Pete” Wellman on Aug. 25, 1943, in Mount Vision. She was employed by the Otschodela Council of the Boy Scouts of America from 1943 to 1993. She took a special interest in local scouting history and curated a myriad of scouting memorabilia.
She was a member of the Laurens Presbyterian Church for over 70 years, serving on the Session and various committees, as well as lending her voice to the choir. She also served as church secretary for many years. Her willingness to help others will be missed by her family and friends.
She was also an avid genealogy buff researching family history back to her Irish ancestors and family members involved in the Revolutionary War. She spent many hours reading about the Civil War and World War II, was a volunteer librarian at the Laurens Public Library, and wrote the Laurens News column for the Freeman’s Journal for several years. She was a member of the Tianderah Chapter, D.A.R. She loved playing in her flower beds and was an avid cat lover. Many a Christmas Eve was spent playing the piano by candlelight.
Betty is survived by her daughters, Carol Rowell, Oneonta, Norma Brown and partner Brian Truax, of Forestport, and Eileen Wellman and Russell Minutolo, of Oneonta; five grandchildren, Michael (Michele) Wunderlich of Syracuse, Elizabeth Wunderlich of Oneonta, Jerry M. O’Dell of Oneonta, Jennifer O’Dell (Joseph Scianablo) of Milford, and Jordan Brown of Worcester; four great-grandchildren, Adrianna O’Dell of Davenport, Jerry A. O’Dell of Laurens, Emma Brown and Oliver Brown (Kaitlin Hansen) of Worcester. She was predeceased by her parents, husband, and sister Ruth Dutcher Knapp.
Calling hours will be 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Laurens Presbyterian Church, with a Celebration of Life will follow at 3 p.m. A reception will be held in the Church Social Hall following the service. A private burial will be held at a later date at the Elm Row Cemetery, Laurens.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Betty’s name may be made to the Laurens Emergency Squad, 34 Main St., Laurens, NY 13796 or Boy Scouts of America, Otschodela Council, PO Box 1356, Oneonta, NY 13820.
Arrangements by the Bookhout Funeral Home, Oneonta.