Betty Lou (Smith) Strain Crase was born to W.A. “Bill” and Grace Smith of Couch, Missouri on March 27, 1929. Betty grew up lovingly surrounded by her parents and five sisters: Pauline (Bolton), JoAnn (Brewer), Nan (Wheeler), Polly (Koetting), and Ethel (Goodrich) and a brother with Down Syndrome, John Bill, whom she loved unconditionally. Brother, Carlee, died in infancy. Betty was the last surviving member of this family.
Betty was skipped two grades in elementary school, and graduated from Couch High School at age 15. She moved to St. Louis and lived with her sister, Pauline, and brother-in-law, while she worked in an ammunition plant, as many did during the war.
Home from the Navy after the war ended, Waymon Strain met Betty and on March 9, 1946, they married. In December, 1947, they were blessed with a baby girl, Brenda. Soon after Brenda’s birth, they moved back “home” to Couch. In September, 1955, they were blessed with another baby girl, Beverly. Sadly, Waymon died suddenly of a heart attack on November 25, 1964.
Years passed and Betty found another special love with Calvin Crase, marrying on October 26, 1990. She is survived by Calvin, Brenda, Beverly and husband, Rick; two step-sons, Ron Crase, Jeff Crase (Cindy) and step-daughter, Kim Lewellin; three grandchildren, Hollee Ellsworth Ellis (Jerry), Heidee Ellsworth White (Richie) and Cameron Thomas; three step-grandchildren, Allison Crase, Goldie Hicks (Allen), and Robin Cain (Corey). Step-grandson, Larry, preceded her in death. She is also survived by five great grandchildren, ten step-great grandchildren, one step-great great grandchild, and many who loved her as aunt, friend, or neighbor. She will be deeply missed by all including her beloved dog, Pepper.
Betty loved her family and her God. She acknowledged God’s presence throughout each day. She prayed for family, friends – even people she didn’t know. She was also quick to praise God and thank him for his grace. Betty’s prayer life and Bible reading were inspiration for her beautifully written thoughts and prayers.
Betty’s Celebration of Life Service will be at 1:00 PM on Saturday, January 13, 2018, at Carter Funeral Home in Thayer, with visitation to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the New Salem Cemetery Association are requested . Donations may be left at the funeral home.