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Elizabeth Montana Binner (Betty) Nash

Obituary Condolences

Elizabeth Montana Binner (Betty) Nash Obituary
Nash, Elizabeth (Betty) Montana Binner
passed away on June 1, 2012. She was born in Northampton, MA to Teresa Campanella and Roger Binner on February, 1925. The family lived in Montana for a short period of time before settling in what was known as Chandler Heights, in the early 1930's where they owned and operated the Chandler Heights Trading Post. Betty always wanted to be a reporter. She started her own newspaper called the Chandler Heights Weekly in June, 1939 when she was 14 years old. It consisted of 2 pages of activities, happenings, bits and pieces about the lives of the area's families. Every Thursday after school, Betty rode her horse bareback from place to place to collect news items. Friday nights she would edit the text, type up her notes, and then run off 100 copies on a mimeograph machine. Saturday mornings she delivered the newspapers on horseback, charging 3 cents per delivered copy and 5 cents per mailed subscription. She published her paper with the assistance of her family through the forties and then again in the sixties and seventies. Then in 1983, she became an editor and publisher once again, this time of the Chandler Heights Monthly Newspaper which covered the ?San Tan Mountain Communities' of Higley, Queen Creek, Chandler Heights and San Tan Valley until late 1996. Besides her own newspapers, she also worked as an area correspondent during the 60's, 70's and early 80's for the Phoenix Gazette, The Arizona Republic, the Mesa Tribune, the Gilbert Enterprise, and wrote a weekly column for the Chandler Arizonan. She was a graduate of Chandler High Scholl (class of '42) and earned a journalism degree from the U of A, and one in elementary education from ASU. Besides her newspaper career, she was a published author of several children's stories along with stories in such magazines as Readers Digest, Guidepost, Field and Stream, and the Saturday Evening Post; she taught school in both Mesa and Chandler School Districts; manage her families citrus farm; and was active in community affairs throughout the southeast valley, particular the San Tan Mountain communities. In February 2010 on her 85th birthday, Betty was honored by both the mayors of Gilbert and Queen Creek as a ?Historic Treasure' for her continued service as a historian, journalist, and community activist in the southeast valley. She was a life member of the American Legion Auxiliary where she held every elected office; the past president of the: Arizona Citrus Exchange Board, Chandler Heights Citrus Growers Association, Chandler Rod & Gun Club, Chandler Heights Citrus Irrigation District Board of Directors, Chandler Heights Civic Club. She also was a Republican Precinct Committeeman, a Unit Leader in the Civil Defense Ground Observer Corp., a Cub Scout Den Mother, a founding member of the San Tan Historical Society, and was a member of the Chandler Community Action Program Board of Directors, Chandler Woman's Club, Arizona Farm Bureau, the Mesa Citrus Growers Assoc., Desert Diggers Garden Club, and the Chandler Heights Community Church Woman's Guild. She is survived by her three sons: John (Joanne), Redlands, CA; Roger (Kimberlee Sossaman), Queen Creek; and Walter (Pat), Chandler Heights; 9 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. Viewing will be June 23 at 9:30 am, services at 10:30 am at Valley of the Sun Chapel, 10940 E. Chandler Heights Rd., Chandler, followed by burial. It was Betty's wish that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the San Tan Historical Society (20425 S. Old Ellsworth Rd., Queen Creek, AZ 85142) to continue the preservation of the history of the San Tan Mountain communities.
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Published in The Arizona Republic on June 17, 2012
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