Betty Austin age 84, of Lawrence (also from Paw Paw 1961 - 1995), passed away Thursday evening March 24, 2022 at White Oaks Retirement Residence in Lawton, MI with family at her bedside following a 20+yr. battle with Alzheimer’s. Betty was born June 3, 1937 in Howell, MI to Donald & Lois Marjorie (Johnson) Carpp. She graduated from Lawrence High School in 1955, three days later was married to her childhood sweetheart Robert “Bob” Austin and five days later turned 18years old. Bob was in the U.S. Navy and stationed at Great Lakes, IL at the time. Immediately following their honeymoon, Bob received his orders to serve as a Hospital Corpsman/Operating Room Technician stationed at Sangley Point Naval Base in the Philippines. This was during the Korean War. Betty soon followed to join him. In September 1955, she boarded a train in Kalamazoo and headed to San Francisco, California where she then boarded the transport naval ship - Barrett. It took Betty two weeks and four days to reach the Philippines. During life together in the Philippines, Betty & Bob enjoyed the birth of their first child. Although born six weeks premature, their daughter was healthy, but tiny & weak and had to stay in an incubator. Bob got to help take care of her during her lengthy stay in the hospital on base. For those who knew Betty during the last few years of her life, you would have heard her tell this love story, over and over again. Over the course of many years the Alzheimer’s eventually took away all of Betty’s memories, except one memory - the love of her life Bob, she held onto until the end. Although Betty will be greatly missed, the family is rejoicing knowing that Betty is now at peace in heaven with Jesus Christ our Lord; and has been reunited with Bob and has back all of her memories.
Betty grew up working for the family business at Lawrence Frozen Foods & was trained to work in the business office doing clerical bookkeeping. Eventually, Betty began working at Lakeview Community Hospital doing bookkeeping in the business office & later transferred to a position in Central Supply as a bookkeeper ordering and keeping inventory of medical supplies for the hospital. Betty retired in 1980. After retirement, Betty kept busy sewing, making crafts out of plastic canvas, babysitting, baking, cooking, etc.
Betty was proud of many things in her life, but most of all she was proud to be a wife, a mom and a grandma. She loved spending time with family, no matter what the occasion. Betty enjoyed watching in person or on TV, or listening over the radio to sporting activities, especially baseball & basketball. She also enjoyed bowling and was on a bowling league for many years at Rainbow Lanes. Betty was also a very active lifetime member of the Eastern Star - Masonic Lodge of Lawrence, and a member of the Lawrence United Methodist Church.
Betty loved big band music, as well as traditional Christian hymns. She grew up with a father who was a high school band teacher & choir director in church. Betty played the trumpet in the high school band and sang in the church choir for many years. Over the years Betty and her sister Mary sang many duets together, Betty singing alto & Mary singing soprano. The staff and residents at White Oaks Retirement Residence thoroughly enjoyed Betty’s beautiful singing voice. Even with advanced Alzheimer’s Betty could carry a tune and knew the music & words of many traditional Christian hymns.
Betty was extremely proud of every member of her family & loved every one of them dearly. First and foremost, Betty was a loving & devoted wife to her husband Bob of 61yrs., & a loving and supportive mother to their three children who all survive - Cindy (Chris) Herring, Rod (Shirley) Austin, & Sandy (Tim) Nicholas. She is also survived by ten grandchildren - Jennifer (David) Dakin, Amy (Ryan) Adams, John Herring, Kristi (Sheldon) Augustine, Kenny (Rosemary) Austin, Mark Schuelke, Aaron Schuelke, Beth Jorriy, Becky (Brian) Holmes, Kaitlyn (Ben) Andries; 17 great-grandchildren - Anna, Jordyn & Harper Dakin; Natalie, Ava & Landon Adams; Nicky & Kimmy Augustine; Savannah & Spencer Austin; Raven, Aidan & Evelyn Schuelke; Shelby Jorriy; Tyler Leach & Kennedy Holmes; and Lincoln Andries. Betty is also survived by her sister Mary Critchlow and many nieces & nephews.
Betty was preceded in death by her husband, parents, brother - Robert “Bob” Carpp and one infant grandchild Robert “Bobby” Keith Austin.
Cremation has taken place. Graveside services with burial will take place at Hill Cemetery in Lawrence, MI on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 1:00pm.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Betty’s name to the Lawrence United Methodist Church, Lawrence Alumni, Centrica Care Navigators (formerly known as Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan) or Alzheimer’s Association.
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