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Betty A. Countryman

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Betty A. Countryman Obituary

Betty Ann Countryman

Mass of Christian Burial for Betty Ann Kosters Countryman, (b. 1921 in St. Joseph, Missouri) mother of six and former professor of Maternal Child Health Nursing at the I.U. School of Nursing, will be on Monday, April 22nd at 11:00 a.m. in Immaculate Heart of Mary Church of which she had been a member since 1952. Visitation will be at Immaculate of Mary Church on Sunday, April 21st from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Burial will follow at a later date in Our Lady of Peace Cemetery.

Betty Ann was graduated from Girls' Latin School in Boston, Harvard University (Radcliffe College, cum laude) and received her Master's Degree in Nursing from the Yale University School of Nursing. She was a member of Mensa, of Alpha Chapter of the Nursing Honorary Society Sigma Theta Tau, of the Yale and Harvard Clubs of Indiana, and of Highland Golf & Country Club.

Much of her personal life was centered around Immaculate Heart of Mary Church which all of her children attended. She was a Girl Scout Leader and Cub Den Mother, and for 30 years coached kickball, receiving the Msgr. Busalt award and St. John Bosco Medal. She received the Outstanding Service Award from IHM in 1996. She served as an active member of the IHM Athletic Committee and as a Minister of Communion for many years. She was named Outstanding Alumna by Girls' Latin School and received the Distinguished Alumna Award from Yale.

For fifty years Betty Ann devoted much of her professional life to the well-being of mother and children. She was a founder of La Leche League of Indiana of and former chairperson of La Leche League International's Board of Directors. In the 1970s she was consultant to the World Health Organization, the Caribbean Food & Nutrition Institute, and the Public Health Department of Jamaica. With a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development in 1978, she established El Centro de Apoyo de Lactancia Materna in El Salvador, the first Latin-American center for support of breastfeeding and maternal/child health and nutrition. For over 30 years she wrote and spoke about the importance and value of breastfeeding in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. She was a member of the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, of Methodist Hospital's Baby Friendly Task Force, and of the Board of Directors of the Indiana Mothers' Milk Bank.

Preceding her in death were three dearly loved people: her husband of more than 61 years, Frank W. Countryman, M.D., her son, Philip A. Countryman, M.D., and her daughter-by-marriage, Alice (Bowman) Countryman, her son Stuart's wife. Surviving are her daughters Marianne Zagorski (Peter) and Elizabeth Allen (Jan), her daughter-by-marriage Sandra (Arnholter) Countryman, Philip's widow, sons Col. Frank W. Jr. ret. (Libby), Stuart B., and Christopher K. (Karen). She also leaves 15 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank Senior Home Companions. Also a special thanks to the caregivers who attended mom. To Toni, our love and heartfelt appreciation for all the love you gave mom.

Memorial contributions may be made to Immaculate Heart of Mary Church 5692 Central Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46220, to Le Leche League of Indiana 9958 Brookside Ct., Avon, IN 46123, or to the donor's favorite charity. Arrangements entrusted to Leppert Mortuary, Nora Chapel .

Published in the The Indianapolis Star on Apr. 18, 2013
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