Betty F. Hooker-Traer
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Formerly of Battle Creek
Betty (Hooker) Traer 93, passed away on Tuesday, November 12, 2013. A devoted mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Betty's life was devoted to her family, her friends and her love of music. Born in DeKalb, IL, on March 22, 1920 to Etta (Lundstrom) and Arthur Fahlund, Betty shared her beautiful soprano voice as a soloist and in many choirs, musicals and swing bands throughout high school and college. She married her high school sweetheart Harold Hooker in 1944 while he was home on leave from the Army during WW II. Upon their graduations from Northern Illinois Teachers College they moved to Battle Creek where they began their teaching careers in the Battle Creek Public Schools. Betty stayed home to raise their children until Harold's untimely death in 1965 when Betty resumed teaching as a music specialist in the schools, later earning a Master's Degree in Education from Michigan State University. The highlight of her career was assuming the directorship of the Battle Creek Public Schools All-City Elementary Choir after the retirement of her dear friend Margaret Dooley. In 1985, Betty retired from teaching and married James (Jake) Traer of Kalamazoo who also preceded her in death. Moving to Kalamazoo's Friendship Village in 1999, Betty became very active in community life, serving on several committees and as the pianist at Village events. She was a 40+ year member of Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Society, served on the Board of Directors of the Battle Creek YWCA and was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, serving as an Elder in both Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.
Surviving are her beloved daughters, Carol (Roger) Mattens of Richland, MI and Susan (Sam) Wilkof of Canton, Ohio. Betty's son, John, preceded her in death in March 2013. Also surviving are her five grandsons, Geoffrey Mattens, Adam (Erin) Mattens, Jonathan (Kristin) Wilkof, Michael Wilkof and Evan (Kaylee) Wilkof and great-grandchildren, Lily, Abigail, Mason and Mya Mattens and Teva Wilkof. Also surviving are three step-children, James (Maribeth) Traer of Jamestown, RI, Robert (Nancy) Traer of Claremont, CA and Mary Edelman of Lexington, MA and her beloved extended family of grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held in the Kiva of Friendship Village, 1400 N. Drake Rd., Kalamazoo, at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 16, 2013 with The Rev. David McShane officiating. Visitation will immediately follow the service. A private family interment will follow at Battle Creek Memorial Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials for Betty may be directed to the Friendship Village Friends Fund, 1400 N. Drake Rd., Kalamazoo, MI 49006 or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Arrangements are being handled by the Richard A. Henry Funeral Home of Battle Creek. www.henryfuneralhome.org
Richard A Henry Funeral Home Inc
703 Capital Ave Sw Battle Creek, MI 49015
Published in Battle Creek Enquirer on Nov. 14, 2013