Betty Jean Deam DeVoe, age 92, peacefully passed away Thursday, April 13, 2017, surrounded by her loving family.
She was born Feb. 1, 1925, and grew up in the height of The Great Depression on a small farm five miles south of Bluffton. She was the sixth child of Earl and Nellie Deam.
Her home was a small, drafty farm house with no insulation, running water or central heat, with eight hardworking people. The Deam family had a long history of Christian ancestry and many members of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
Leaving household duties to her sisters, she chose to aid her father in performing farm chores of milking cows and planting and plowing the fields. Both food and money were in short supply and her family subsisted on garden produce and cornmeal. She endured long, hot or freezing bus rides to Bluffton High School and graduated in 1943. At that time, she entered the Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing and graduated in 1947 as a licensed registered nurse.
In 1947, she met and married, now retired, physician Kenneth DeVoe, who survives. Their marriage endured for a couple months shy of 70 years. Dr. DeVoe practiced at South Bend Memorial Hospital and upon his retirement, they relocated to Greenwood. Their union grew to four children; 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. As she took an active role in their lives, until the very end, she had a constant stream of visits and hugs from each of the many adoring grandchildren.
At the age of five, she sang church solos and while living in South Bend, she continued singing at many church or civic functions. She was active in Republican politics and ran for a political office and was honored with numerous civic awards in the community.
She traveled the world. She and her husband visited all the United States, South America, Canada, Mexico, Europe, including the beaches of Normandy. She enjoyed an African safari, strode the Serengeti at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, rode an elephant in India and saw much of the Far East including the Taj Mahal. Her constant focus, however, was to return to her children, grandchildren and a myriad of special nieces and nephews.
Betty’s door was always open to friends and strangers alike. She was famous for her herculean efforts at preparing food for her family at Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, Colts games and IU basketball games. No one ever left her home hungry. Her famous pies rapidly disappeared. A meticulous housekeeper with a gentle soul, Betty was cute, modest and humble to a fault. Since she believed a frown or a complaint was a waste of time, she was never without an infectious smile an perpetually sunny disposition.
She was a lovely lady who lived a lovely life. She leaves behind a legacy of model Christian behavior as the beloved heart of her large brood. A loss to all whose lives she has touched, her passing leaves her family mourning, but grateful to her for all she gave of herself. They look forward to a happy reunion in Heaven for Eternity.
You are invited to attend a Celebration of Life service at 11:30 a.m. April 22, 2017, at Community Church of Greenwood, 1477 W. Main Street, Greenwood.
Wilson St. Pierre Funeral Services and Crematory, Greenwood, Chapel, has been entrusted with funeral arrangements. You may visit our website at wilsonstpierre.com to share a memory, send a condolence or order flowers for the family.