Obituary of Betty Jean Petron
On November 5, 2022 our kind, loving, and beautiful mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Betty Jean McMorrow Petron, passed away at her daughter’s home in St. Marys, Georgia just shy of celebrating her 91st birthday.
Betty was born at home in 1931 in Breckinridge, Minnesota to Clara Kath and Robert Emmet McMorrow. She spent her childhood in Breckenridge and St. Paul, Minnesota, as well as Hankinson, North Dakota. Betty was active in dance and graduated from Hankinson High school in 1949 where she participated in cheerleading. She spent her early adult life working for SEARS Roebuck. By the age of 23, she was managing the entire store, The youngest and FIRST female store manager they ever had.
In 1954, mutual friends, June and Ed Erickson, introduced Don and Betty. Their love was immediate and they were wed one year later in 1955 in Wahpeton, North Dakota. Don and Betty were blessed with seven children. The first two children were born in Breckenridge, MN and the others born in Williston, North Dakota.
Betty was the master of creating lasting memories for her family and friends. Even with seven children, she always made sure that each of her children felt unique and special. Every year she would bake creative and amazing birthday cakes honoring that child’s favorite theme. Throughout the years, she consciously made a point to have long, heartfelt, one-on-one talks with each child so they wouldn’t ever feel lost in the crowd. Betty had the special gift of being “present” in every conversation, and through her contagious smile, you could feel the warmth and acceptance she exuded. The love she displayed for her family and friends was unremitting. She generously opened her heart and home to many, and her day was never complete until she made a point of showing at least one person kindness, compassion, and love.
Betty, first and foremost, loved the Lord.Jesus Christ was the center of her relationship with her husband and together they focused on creating a home that put Christ first. She made a point to have her home filled with love and humor. She taught her children and grandchildren the importance of laughter. She would say that in order to get through life, you must first learn to laugh at yourself. She demonstrated this ability with unwavering grace at all times.
Betty displayed limitless love for her husband, Don, and the wonderful life they co-created. Betty dedicated many years of her life in service to others. She and Don spent 15 years volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in Southwest Georgia, and she had the honor and privilege to work alongside Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter as well as Millard and Linda Fuller.
In 2003, Betty and Don moved to The Villages, Florida where she delighted in taking dance lessons and performing in many musicals. She filled her days with golf, countless card games, socializing with friends, and traveling. Her life was filled with many wonderful experiences, and she especially loved spending time with her family. Some of her fondest memories were the years her family spent together enjoying their lake cabin. Betty was always the first in line for a new adventure. She was able to take over 20 cruises with family and friends. She said cruises were her favorite way to spend time with family because she could just sit back and enjoy everyone without having to cook or clean!
Betty’s love for her family and friends was endless, and it is impossible to share all the incredible ways and the memories that made her so uniquely special.Those who were lucky enough to be touched by her sweet spirit, infectious smile, and larger than life heart, know that she was truly a “one-of-a-kind” woman who’s presence on this earth will be sorely missed. We will never stop missing her and we will honor and remember her daily.
Betty is survived by her sister Judy Azure, her children Chelsie Park of California, Dan (Nancy) Petron of Georgia, Julie (Dave) Larson of Florida, David (Kristin) Petron of Utah, Jennifer (Jim) weldon of Georgia, Joan (Curt) Kulla of Minnesota, and Don (Kathryn) Petron of Ohio; 16 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, with two more on the way. She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, four brothers, and two sisters.
A celebration of life service will be held on November 11, at Hiers-Baxley Funeral & Cremation Life Event Center, 3975 Wedgewood Lane, The Villages, Florida 32162. There will be a viewing at 3:15, with services to follow at 4:00
In lieu of flowers, a gift in memory of Betty Petron can be made at Habitat.org or sent to Habitat for Humanity International, 322 West Lamar Street, Americus, Georgia 31709-3543.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Betty Petron, please visit Tribute Store