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Betty Allene ""Betsy"" (Wright) Dumph

1953 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Betty Allene ""Betsy"" (Wright) Dumph Obituary
Betty Allene
Wright Dumph
June 16, 1953 –
July 28, 2016
Betty was born to Jeanne Alsie McKinstry Wright and Harold Lee Wright on June 16, 1953 in Akron, Colorado. She loved growing up on the farm with her two older brothers, John and Fred, and twin sisters, Kathy and Karen. Many happy hours were spent exploring and discovering God's beautiful world, delighting in frogs and turtles, swimming in the ponds, riding horses, walking through the tree strips, and watching the birds and other wild critters.
Following in her mother's footsteps, Betsy perused a career in education. She did her student teaching in Sedbergh, England then returned to Colorado to finish her BA degree in Elementary Education at UNC where she graduated summa cum laude in December of 1974. Her first teaching position was at Woodlin Elementary School in Woodrow, Colorado. She taught kindergarten to eight students. Woodlin was an ideal first-year teaching experience: working with lovely children and parents.
But love called, and Betty moved to Southwest Colorado after marrying Edward Richard Dumph in Akron, Colorado on July 26, 1975. They made their home in the US Forest Service cabin at Vallecito Lake – the perfect honeymoon cottage! Ed and Betsy bought their first little ranch in Bayfield, Colorado in 1976. Betsy taught 2nd grade in Bayfield while Ed worked for the US Forest Service. In 1980, Ed accepted a new position with the CO Division of Wildlife (DOW) and the family moved to Monte Vista, Colorado where Betsy continued to teach elementary students.
In 1981, Seth Everett Dumph was born in Alamosa, Colorado, followed by Cody Preston Dumph in May 1984, and Christopher Edward Dumph (Kit) in July 1988. These were happy times, and with the boys and her horses, Betsy often accompanied Ed on DOW trips into the Weminuche Wilderness above Creede, Colorado.
Betsy and Ed bought their first Arabian mare (Sligo) from her Uncle Neal and Aunt Marge McKinstry in 1975. This is how they started their horse herd, with a leased stallion from her Uncle Neal. The herd grew to twelve horses over the years. Betsy and Ed rode many competitive trail rides and won several national awards through the 80's and 90's. This was truly Betsy's love and, outside of her family, there was nothing she loved more than taking a horse (or two) out for a long peaceful ride. She was a talented trainer and horsewoman. One of Betsy's proudest moments was winning a Reserve National Championship at the International Arabian Horse Trail Ride on her favorite horse NayrbBee. Many very pleasurable years of competitive trail riding, dressage, and recreational riding blessed her time.Betsy returned to summer school from 1985 to 1987 at CSU where she obtained her MA degree in Educational Administration. She was even allowed to attend classes with Cody in a baby carrier around her waist. She graduated and was rewarded with a job offer from the Durango School District to be an elementary principal. This was the beginning of her successful career as a school administrator.
Between 1987 and 1990, the family moved back and forth between Alamosa and Durango, Colorado when Betsy accepted a principalship from the Durango School District. Ed and Betsy commuted on weekends when possible to keep their family together. When Ed was offered a "Fishing is Fun" position with the DOW, they decided that they needed to make a move to the Denver area. The family found their dream ranch near Hudson, Colorado in 1990. In this home, they raised their family, Arabian horses, and Angus cattle while still continuing to work full-time (Ed for the DOW and Betsy for RE3J School System and Adams 50 Public Schools in Westminster as a principal).
After careers of over 30 years, each in public service, Ed retired in 2003 and Betsy in 2004. The couple looked forward to farming, traveling, and enjoying a slower lifestyle. But nothing could slow Betsy down. After retirement, Betsy became the Federal Relations Coordinator for the Colorado Association of School Executives. This was an important part of Betty's life. She enjoyed working with quality school teachers, principals, and administrators to further the cause for children and better education in CO and the U.S. She enjoyed traveling to Washington D.C., lobbying for the state, and taking care of national educational issues until her second retirement from this position in 2013. Betsy continued to work for this cause until her death. She also made many wonderful friends through CASE, which will be treasured forever.
At the young age of 51, with a regularly scheduled colonoscopy, Betty was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Even though the cancer was already at stage 3, hopes were high that through proper care the cancer could be beaten into remission.
That summer, after successful surgery, Betsy traveled with her family to Italy and was blessed to take many more trips with different family members and friends in years to follow. Betsy's travels included Alaska, Ireland, England, Peru, Germany, Africa, S.E. Asia, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, and Hungary. Ed and Betsy also purchased a small pickup camper that they drove through the U.S. and parts of Canada, exploring new areas and National Parks. The camper trips allowed them to visit friends and family all over the U.S. Some of the places they visited included the North East United States, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, and Oregon. Traveling was always one of her passions, she loved seeing new places and experiencing new cultures.
Just as Betsy and her family were starting to believe cancer was behind them, a routine CT scan showed metastasis in Betsy's lungs. However, she was optimistic she could continue to live a healthy life if she could complement her treatments with a healthy diet. During this time Betsy focused on eating no processed sugars, lots of veggies, fruits, and minimal meat. Even though Betty's prognosis was only two years, she continued to prove those "experts" wrong year after year. She credits her doctors at Anschutz, who were supportive of her integrated medicinal approach and efforts to include alternative medicine into her health plans like positive thinking, meditations, affirmations, acupuncture, and the like.
Life continued to bless Betsy with joys and general good health until December of 2014 when a brain tumor made an unexpected appearance. Generally, colorectal cancer does not go to the brain, but this time, it did… twice. Brain tumors were operated on and removed in June 2014 and again June 2015. Betsy was also treated with whole brain radiation… Hello Baldie! (her words ?) Brain surgery and whole brain radiation caused many unpleasant side effects. But, throughout it all, Betsy felt very confident and optimistic that she was living with her symptoms as well as possible.
In early 2016, Betsy suffered from stroke-like symptoms, and shortly after, discovered that cancer had made its way into the lining of the brain and the spinal cord. She was able to enjoy and revel in the wedding of her youngest son and daughter-in-law, Kit and Becky, in June. As well as, the wedding of her oldest son and daughter-in-law, Seth and Daniella, in July, both held on the family ranch. She then passed into the hands of her Lord on July 28, 2016, at 7:26pm in the comfort of her own home with Ed standing by her side.
Betsy will be greatly missed by countless individuals, as she touched the lives of so many people. Her family rejoices her resurrection and coming home to the Lord. We hope she finds peace in her next adventure; an adventure of pure, perfect love – illness free, worry free, and pain-free.
Betsy is survived by her loving husband: Ed Dumph of Hudson, CO; brother: John Wright of Akron, CO; twin sisters: Kathy Nelson of Castle Rock, CO and Karen Willeke, of Otis, CO; sons: Seth Dumph, Cody Dumph, and Christopher Dumph.
A Memorial Service was held on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Brighton.
Memorial Contributions can be made in Betsy's name to NATRAC, PO Box 224, Sedalia CO 80135 or www.natrc3.org OR Shambhala Mountain Center, 151 Shambhala Way, Red Feather Lakes CO 80545, www.shambhalamountain.org.
Tabor-Rice Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Published in Akron News-Reporter on Aug. 3, 2016
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