On Tuesday, October 24, Betty J. Boerger left this planet at the venerable age of 99. If you google “A life well lived,” Betty should be the first entry: a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, adventurer, volunteer, and a shining example of leaving the planet better then she found it.
Born in Milbank, SD, a town of 3,000, in 1924, Betty and the love of her life, Philip, (Pete to his West Point classmates,) were married in a mock wedding at the age of five. Betty loved to tell the story: “Because I was the bride, I had a huge bouquet of lollipops. Pete just had one little sucker as a boutonniere. His mother asked my mother if I would share my lollipops with Pete and I’ve been sharing them ever since.”
June 3, 1947, Pete’s graduation day from West Point, he and Betty were wed at the Cadet Chapel in a double ceremony with Pete’s brother, Frank and his bride, Barbara. From that day, their lives were one adventure after another. From Fort Riley, Kansas to Anchorage, Alaska, from Ft. Belvoir, Virginia to West Point, New York, from Norfolk, Virginia to Bamberg, Germany, from Carlisle, Pennsylvania to Teheran, Iran to Washington, D.C. to Seoul, Korea to Honolulu, Hawaii to Omaha, Nebraska to Los Alamos, New Mexico, Betty zigzagged around the world, Pete’s best weapon, as he climbed the ranks, and they ended their military career as a brigadier general and general’s wife.
Because there’s always room for more fun and excitement, Pete and Betty had two children, Tom, and Judi, who were the lucky beneficiaries of endless travel and many schools.
Betty’s volunteerism spanned decades and included a massive contribution of her time, and energy such as Chairing the Korean Red Cross Volunteers – as well as one on one contributions of her talents – serving as a volunteer reading resource teacher in schools across the world. If she believed in it, no cause was too large or too small.
Pete chose well when he picked Betty to be his lifelong partner. She was good at all of it. She was supportive, direct, kind, warm, an effortless entertainer and had that rare ability to make each person in her orbit feel special. And she sparkled, which is why Pete often called her Boop, after Betty Boop!
Betty was preceded in death by her beloved daughter, Judi and her darling Pete. She left behind a family who will miss her terribly: a son Tom and his wife, Tana, of Carolina Trace, NC; a son-in-law, Bob Humphreys of Vienna, VA. She was "Gaga" to her grandson, Trevor and his wife Stephanie, a great-grandson, Cody, and a great-granddaughter, Stella, of Red Bank, New Jersey; and granddaughters, Deni Cunningham, husband Chris, great-granddaughter Joelle and great-grandsons, Coulter and River Cunningham and Keri Staley and twin great-grandsons, Austin and Clark and great-granddaughter, Mikaila Staley all of Northern Virginia and close-as-family, Alana Davidson, Larry Van Dyne and Jordan Davidson of Washington, D.C.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity.