Betty Francis McKenzie (1933 - 2017)

1 entry
  • "Extending my sincere sympathy for your loss. May you find..."
    - Sandra
The Guest Book is expired.

Betty Francis McKenzie, age 84, went to heaven on Aug. 29, 2017. Surrounded by her family, she peacefully left this world.
She was born Betty Francis Percifull on June 11, 1933, in Grady, N.M., to Robert and Francis Percifull, the first of five children. She attended Grady High School, where she enjoyed playing basketball and made many lifelong friends. Her family moved to Clovis, N.M., where they ran a cafe named Rosie's. Betty helped her mother at the cafe and helped take care of her siblings.
Betty married Benny Bert Cogdill on Feb. 7, 1951, in Clovis, N.M. They had five children.
Betty was an extremely patient and loving wife and mother throughout life's ups and downs. Divorced in 1968, she became a single mother, working two and three jobs at a time to provide for her children. She put her children's needs first and made sure that they always felt loved and special. Her ability to make those around her feel special was a gift appreciated by many.
Betty took her five kids on a Greyhound bus from California to Colorado in 1969. In Colorado, she worked for Raytheon and Martin Marietta, and met and fell in love with Charles McKenzie. Together Betty and Charles prepared for the adventure of a lifetime, leaving the "rat race" and moving to Alaska. Betty helped Charles transform old vehicles into campers for their journey and, with their belongings and kids in tow, they started their trip in June 1972. During 21 days of many joys and hardships, Betty showed that she had true grit, as well as love and patience, because anything that could go wrong did. She always maintained a positive and upbeat attitude, and she survived the Alcan Highway!
They settled and built a home in Peter's Creek, Alaska. Betty graduated from Alaska Business College and went on to work at Providence Hospital as a data processor for many years. Betty later worked for and retired from Library Resources for the Anchorage School District. Betty was always working and caring for others and that's what she enjoyed the most, making everyone happy.
Betty enjoyed country western music and some rock and roll. She liked to dance and laugh and smell the roses and read Louis L'amour novels, watch old Westerns and old TV shows like Gunsmoke and Rifleman and listen to the radio. She enjoyed visiting with her friends and relatives and drove many times to the Lower 48 to see them. She especially enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren; they kept her spark aglow.
Betty was a very beautiful woman inside and outside. She was the most loyal, devoted, loving and patient wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. Her children remember her as the most amazing and wonderful mother a person could ever ask for. Everyone who knew her will miss her greatly. She will be lovingly remembered and in our hearts forever.
Betty is survived by four of her five children, Jerry D. Cogdill of Anchorage, Alaska, Gary D. Cogdill of Big Lake Alaska, Larry and Ursula Cogdill of Wasilla, Alaska, and Peggy Barber of Palmer, Alaska; sisters, Shelley Cole of Texas, and Nina Stevenson of Texas; brothers, Robert Percifull of Arizona, and Doug Stevenson of Texas; and many nieces and nephews, and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert Percifull, O.D. and Francis Stevenson; her husbands, Benny Bert Cogdill and Charles Ray McKenzie; sisters, Eunice Murdick and Martha Light; and her son, Terry Cogdill.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Many thanks go to the staff and residents at Primrose Retirement Home in Wasilla for the devoted care they gave to Betty during her stay there.

Published in Anchorage Daily News on Sept. 29, 2017