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Betty Jo (Ragsdale) Butler, 93, of Gothenburg, Nebraska, passed quietly in her sleep November 20, 2017 at Hilltop Estates with her son Douglas at her side.
She was born November 17, 1924 in Farnam, NE, daughter and oldest child of Clarence and Harriet Esther Ragsdale.
Betty grew up and attended school in Farnam and after graduation attended Nebraska Wesleyan in Kearney. After receiving her teaching certificate she taught for a short period before getting involved in the war effort where she worked in a munitions plant in Omaha attaching fins to aerial bombs. While on a train in Omaha she met and later married Carl Butler in 1944 before he deployed to Europe as a member of the US Army. After the war they located back to Nebraska, in around the Gothenburg area where they raised a family of six where she was a housewife and stay at home Mom most of her marriage. But when most of the children were out of school, she went to work at Hallmark, Inc in Lawrence, KS where she later retired. After her husband Carl died in 1984, she moved back to Gothenburg, to take care of her Mom, until her death in 1995. .
Betty became a member of the First Baptist Church of Gothenburg in 1991 and became involved in the Awana children's ministry, which later became her passion working with young church members. She was also an avid reader and loved to cook for her family. She cared dearly for her children and grandchildren.
Around 2005, Betty felt there was something going on with her memory and she had her daughter Linda take her to North Platte to be tested for Alzheimer's and they found her to be in the early stages of this dreaded disease. But this allowed her to get on medication which was not a cure, but did slow the progression of the disease which did give her a few more quality years. In early 2010, the disease had progressed to the point to where she needed to be secured, and she was admitted to the memory care unit of Hilltop Estates to be cared for to live out her final years.
Betty is survived by her sons, Rick Butler of Wylie, TX, Dennis Butler of Gothenburg, and Douglas Butler of Gothenburg, grandchildren Deanne Morton of North Platte, Kevin Casper of Gothenburg and Jessica Herrera of Dallas, TX as well as seven great grandchildren.
Betty was preceded in death by a young daughter Judy Butler, father Clarence Ragsdale, husband Carl Butler, mother Esther Ragsdale, daughter Linda Swanson, and daughter Cindy Johnson.
There will not be a service for Betty in Gothenburg, where she will be taken to Nashville, TN to be buried with her husband Carl in the National Cemetery there.
Memorials may be given in Betty's name to the Alzheimer's Association
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