Betty Jane Conrad died Sept. 27, 2018.

Betty Jane Conrad died Sept. 27, 2018.

She was born July 16, 1924, in Joliet to Mildred (Nahlbom) and Michael Green. She married Beryl Gilbert Conrad in Canton June 20, 1954. Her husband died in 1992, and her parents died in 1995. Her sister Virginia Cassem, stepson Beryl Glenn Conrad, stepgranddaughter Deborah Wing and great-grandson Jude Williams also preceded her in death.

Surviving are three daughters, Colleen Conrad, Michelle (Donald) Gorsage, and Mildred Conrad, all of Canton. Her stepdaughter Sharon Bell also survives her. In addition, three granddaughters survive her, Melissa (Justin) Williams, Sarah (Lawrence) Clark and Noelle Conrad. Also surviving are seven great-grandchildren, Madison, Greg, Haley, Chandler, Trey, Amelia and Ruebynn; six stepgrandchildren; and several stepgreat-grandchildren.

Betty graduated from Lockport High School. After her husband’s death, she went to college, graduating with honors and an associate’s degree in art from Spoon River College.

She served in the Navy WAVES during World War II and later in the Navy Reserves. Stationed in Washington, D.C., she met Presidents, members of Congress and military officers. As a WAVE, she marched behind President Franklin Roosevelt’s caisson in his funeral procession. Betty also was employed as an artist, bookkeeper and secretary.

Mrs. Conrad wrote essays for local publications and talked to Canton High School students about World War II every year on Pearl Harbor Day. Acting was one of her hobbies, and she was a memorable Mammy Yokum at the Fulton County Playhouse. She belonged to the American Legion and the Spoon River College Honor Society. When her daughters were young, she was a Camp Fire, 4H and Great Books leader.

In addition to being a PTA member, she was a strong believer in education. She marched for the Equal Rights Amendment and wrote to politicians to advocate for women. She was a life-long Democrat. Up until the last few years of her life she went to church every Sunday and sang in various church choirs. Finally, she was a woman who loved her children and grandchildren unconditionally.

A visitation will be held Monday, Oct. 1, from 5 until 7 p.m. at Oaks-Hines Funeral Home in Canton, where a funeral will be held Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 11 a.m. Rev. Micah Garnett will officiate.

Burial with military rites will be held at the Greenwood Cemetery in Canton.

Memorials may be made to Canton American Legion Auxiliary (Girls State) or Trinity Lutheran Church.

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