Betty Dalby (1923 - 2017)

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Betty Dalby's adventure began on the prairie in Clatonia, Neb., and ended in the shadow of the Mat-Su Valley's Pioneer Peak.
The then Betty Albert graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1945, as a registered nurse. In late summer 1947, she accepted a job in Skagway, Alaska.
Betty's ship arrived on a chilly fall evening. After disembarking, she climbed into a taxi driven by Chris Dalby, a soldier stationed in Skagway moonlighting as a cabbie. He drove her to the WP&YRR Hospital, after arranging a date.
Chris and Betty married in Skagway on July 1, 1948. Son Ronald was born a year later and was 13 months old and Betty eight months pregnant in 1950, when they shipped their car to Haines, Alaska, and then drove it down the Alaska Highway. Son Robert was born near his grandparent's home in Nebraska in September, en route to Chris's next assignment.
Ten years of roaming the world followed, with homes in Europe, California, Washington, Georgia, California and Illinois, where daughter Sandra was born in 1956.
The family moved to Klamath Falls, Ore., after Chris retired from the Army, and Betty went back to nursing full time. She became the local hospital's chief surgical nurse and ruled "her" facility firmly, fairly and with a dose of humor.
In early 1986, just weeks before Betty's planned retirement, Chris was diagnosed with terminal cancer and their plans to retire to Alaska evaporated. They made one last trip to Alaska in their beloved motorhome that summer.
Chris died in December, and two months later, Betty asked, "We were going to move to Alaska. Is there any reason I can't?" In July 1987, Ron's family picked her up in their motorhome and she followed them to Alaska in her car.
Within a few months of moving to Palmer, Alaska, Betty began donating uncountable hours volunteering at the Palmer Public Health Clinic, the Wasilla blood bank, taking blood pressure for seniors walking in the old Cottonwood Creek Mall, and serving as a Charter Volunteer at Valley Hospital. She became a valued member of Waheed Court No. 81 of the Ladies Oriental Shrine of North America, was active with Eastern Star and helped at her church. Ultimately, her charitable work was recognized by Ermalee Hickel, who presented her with the 1993 Governor's First Lady's Volunteer Award.
Her greatest delight remained her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. A never-ending source of pride was her family's patriotism. Both sons, three grandsons and two grandsons-in-law served honorably in the U.S. armed forces.
She is survived by her children, Ron (Jennifer) of Palmer, Robert (Sandi) of Sierra Vista, Ariz., and Sandra of Middleton, Wis.; nine grandchildren; and 11.5 great-grandchildren.
A gathering in remembrance will commence at the Log Church-United Protestant Church (Presbyterian) in Palmer, from 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m., after the regular Sunday service on Sept. 24, 2017. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, friends donate to the Log Church or the USO.
Published in Anchorage Daily News from Sept. 20 to Sept. 21, 2017