Betty June Vogelaar

Dec. 5, 2023

Betty June Vogelaar

Betty June Vogelaar, 97, Betty June Vogelaar of Newton was welcomed home by her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on December 5, 2023, surrounded by her family at her daughter Ruth’s home in Lexington, Kentucky where she lived. Betty, the daughter of Alzie Harry and Ida Lena (Kling) Wilsterman, was born June 23, 1926, in Montezuma, Iowa. As a result of the Great Depression, Betty moved to Newton with her mother. They lived with her grandparents and spent weekends together on the farm.

Betty attended Lincoln and Emerson Hough elementary schools, where she won spelling and penmanship awards, and Newton High School where she excelled and graduated in 1944. She produced a neighborhood newspaper with friends, participated in Office Education where she became proficient in organization, shorthand, and typing—lifetime skills. She walked to high school with her friend, Alice, every day and had fun learning a vocabulary word a week with her friends Alice (Trevethan) Beatty and Jean (Witmer) Payne.

Betty was working as a stenographer and secretary at Denniston & Partridge Lumber when Earl walked in to apply for a position: she knew immediately he was “the one.” Earl and Betty united in marriage on August 1, 1952, and were blessed with four children. Betty and Earl were members of Community Heights Alliance Church in Newton where they attended whenever the doors were open. They were faithful in their daily Bible reading and praying throughout their days.

Betty lived a life of strong Christian faith in service to her Lord, family, and community. She volunteered with Youth for Christ. Betty taught the high school girls Sunday School class, was a deaconess and a member of the Ladies Prayer Band, and hosted church families and guest speakers.

She welcomed her children’s friends into the home. She hosted a Good News Club for children in her home and participated in the Blue Star home program that provided children with a safe refuge in case of an emergency.

Betty attentively cared for all her family during illnesses including a smallpox diagnosis. She provided home care for her mother, aunts, and uncles, and lovingly brought her mother and aunt to live within the family home as they aged. Betty was devoted in service to her faith, husband, and family.

Betty began a mid-life interest in genealogy research incorporating visits to libraries, courthouses, cemeteries, and coordinating with family near and far on vacations across the 48 states. She loved her scrapbooks, photo albums, and personal and family heirlooms of lives well lived.

At 97, Betty was the longest-lived person in her lineage and was preceded in death by her husband Earl; her parents and an infant sister. Among those left to honor her lifetime of love include daughters Mary (Greg) Sparks of Durham, North Carolina, Ruth (Lanny) Harris of Lexington, Kentucky, and sons John (Janet) Vogelaar and Tim (Karmyn) Vogelaar of Nashville, Tennessee; her ten grandchildren, Aaron (Emily) Sparks of Durham, Alastor (Alaula) Arbor of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Anna (Jay) Bishop of Lexington, Christopher, Vincent (Emily), and Katrice Vogelaar, and Simone (Deryan) Galeano Gutiérrez of Nashville, David (Lindsay), and Steven Vogelaar of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Kristine (Josiah) Remboldt of Lebanon, Tennessee; seven great grandchildren, Anne and Margaret Sparks, Lily Bishop, Isla, Clark, Von, and Stella Vogelaar.

A Celebration of Life services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, December 11, at Community Heights Alliance Church. She will be laid to rest beside her husband and mother at Newton Union Cemetery. All are warmly invited to visitation with the family prior to the service beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the church. Memorials may be designated to Community Heights Alliance Church.

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