Betty Jo Powers of Lyman, left this life for the next on April 2, surrounded by her beloved family, following a brief but intense battle with cancer.
She was born Betty Jo Bush in Rock Springs, on April 17, 1946, to Herschel Ray Bush and Lois Mae Hunter, the third of five sisters. She spent her childhood in Sheridan, and other than a brief time in Salt Lake City as a teen, Wyoming was Betty’s home her entire life.
As a young woman, Betty attended the University of Wyoming where she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. It was there, in math class, where she met her eternal sweetheart, Joseph Michael Powers.
They were married June 27, 1970, in Jackson, and were later sealed in the Salt Lake LDS Temple on Nov. 25, 1978. They made their home in Lyman, Wyoming, and were blessed with three children, a son and two daughters, eight granddaughters and five grandsons.
One of Betty’s great gifts was as a teacher of young children. As an elementary school teacher, she taught for more than 40 years in Lyman. She was instrumental in blessing the lives of hundreds of kindergarten and second-grade students. She was known to be firm, kind, loving and patient. She had an exceptional ability to make her students feel valued and confident. Her students knew they could count on a hug and a smile from Mrs. Powers.
In addition to her family, teaching was her life, and she spent many hours above and beyond, preparing for and nurturing her students. Toward the end of her years in education, she was teaching the grandchildren of students she’d taught in her beginning years. Her contribution to the lives of children and families in this capacity is immeasurable.
Betty enjoyed serving as a member of Lyman’s Xadena Club for more than 30 years. She loved the ladies in the club, and being a part of the services they provided in the community was a source of joy to her.
An active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Betty served in many callings and could often be found ministering to those in her ward and community. In 2013-14, she and Mick served the Lord full-time in the Chicago Illinois South Mission, enduring one of the coldest and snowiest winters on record.
Later as service missionaries at Heber Valley Camp, they spent three springs, summers and falls serving more than 150,000 young women and other visitors. She loved serving the Lord and teaching the gospel, and did so faithfully. Many were blessed by her love and friendship.
Betty loved her family and was a devoted and attentive wife, mother and grandmother. She could do everything from put up a hundred bottles of produce from the garden, shoot an elk at long range, drive a dump truck, to wrangling half a dozen grandchildren for a week and teaching a child to read.
She was zealous in supporting and encouraging her children and had a gift for listening attentively and making each of her children, and others, feel important. She was always concerned with others’ needs and would go to great lengths to help them, always generous with her time, talents and resources. Even at the very end of her life, as she was enduring great suffering, she demonstrated concern for the well-being of others.
Betty’s life was one defined by blessing others, whether as a teacher, a wife and mother, as a missionary or as a friend. She will be greatly mourned and missed by her family, friends and community. The friendships and deep roots created from 48 years in Bridger Valley have been an integral part of her life, and she loved her family, friends and her valley deeply.
Betty is survived by her beloved husband, Mick; her children, Paxton (Monique), Kodi (Victor) Soto and Brook (Kristian) Wanderaas; and her 13 grandchildren. She also leaves behind three sisters: Barbara (Everett) Mills, Jan (LeDel) Pace and Jane Sampson.
She is preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Joan Bischoff.
Viewings will be held from 6-8 p.m. Friday, April 6, and 10 a.m. Saturday, April 7. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 7, at the Urie LDS Stake Center.
Burial will be at Lyman Cemetery under the direction of Crandall Funeral Home. Condolences may be made at www.crandallfhevanston.com.