ONEONTA – Elizabeth “Betty” (Miller) Thompson, 86, whose year on the staff of the Huntington Memorial Library launched her life’s work, passed away surrounded by family, on Aug. 31, 2018, in Cortland.
Formerly of Newark Valley, she was originally from Oneonta.
Betty was born on Feb. 17, 1932, attended Bugbee Elementary School and graduated from Oneonta High School in 1949. She studied history and Spanish at Hartwick College, graduating in 1953, then completed a year of graduate study in library science at Oswego State.
On the way into church on Easter Sunday 1954, an acquaintance from high school named Bill Thompson asked to sit next to her and soon after they began dating. She worked at the Huntington Library in Oneonta that year until they married on Labor Day 1955.
While raising their four daughters who had been born over the next half-decade, Betty worked as the librarian at Nathan T. Hall Elementary School in Newark Valley for a few years, led Girl Scout troops, baked the best chocolate chip cookies and fostered community and citizen participation in the Tioga County area.
Once the girls were grown, Betty began preparing income tax returns, first through H&R Block and then through her own business, Betty’s Income Tax.
She was elected to the Newark Valley Town Council and was active with Project Neighbor, the REAP board, and the Newark Valley Historical Society.
She is survived by her husband, William; her four daughters, Julie (Ron) Sorcek of Bethel, Conn., Denise (Steve) Wrinn of Cortland; Patricia Thompson (Mark Simonson) of St. Paul, Minn., and Renee (Matt) Kelahan of Ashburn, Va.; her “fifth daughter,” Rosalie (Bill) Wright of Newark Valley; grandchildren, Kathleen Wrinn (Antonio Silva Dora), Eric Sorcek, Ruby Thompson and Casey and Cameron Kelahan; brothers and sisters-in-law, Robert Thompson, Denise Thompson, Betsy Miller and Helen Thompson; many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Helen Miller of Oneonta; brothers, Gene, David and John; sister, Susan Patnaude; sister-in-law, Gerry Miller; and brother-in-law, Oscar Patnaude.
Calling hours are scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 28, at McPherson’s Funeral Home, 5 Whig St., Newark Valley. A funeral mass and celebration of her life will be held at 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 29, at St. John the Evangelist Church in Newark Valley, with luncheon to follow.
Memorials are appreciated to the Newark Valley Historical Society.