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Betty Johnson

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Betty Jenks Johnson 1925-2012 SHAFTSBURY, VT Betty Jenks Johnson, 86, a resident of Murphy Hill Road in Shaftsbury, passed away Friday January 27, 2012 at her home. She was born in Rutherford, N.J., on April 26, 1925, daughter of Barton L. and Elizabeth (Andrews) Jenks. She headed for the University of Minnesota after high school in Rutherford in pursuit of a journalism degree. When the hostilities of World War II interrupted that career track, she returned to Rutherford and completed a secretarial course. She did secretarial work at businesses both there and in New York City. While volunteering for the American Friends Service Committee at the "Finnish Workroom" she met her future husband Johnny Johnson. They married in 1949 and moved to Shaftsbury. With her secretarial skills and business acumen, self-employment beckoned Betty. Never afraid to dream big, she and Johnny parlayed his profound knowledge of scholarly rare books into a natural history mail order business that over fifty-five years achieved a global reach. Next came a Morgan horse breeding business that tapped into her zest for researching bloodlines as well as a passion for horses. In 1966 the birth of the first "Sagamore" foal launched Saga Morgans which has had a regional presence in the industry as well as some national recognition. In 2009, she received the Deane C. Davis Award recognizing her long commitment to Morgans and the success of the breeding program. Betty loved books, music, electronic technology, laughter and family. She continued her passion for research and bloodlines into retirement with ancestors.com and the formidable Bull Family Genealogy. In the final chapter, she was gathered into the Hospice family which enabled her to live out her life in her honeymoon house that Johnny built for her. She is survived by her daughters Deb and Laurie Johnson, both of Shaftsbury a sister-in-law Jane Jenks Small of State College Pennsylvania and nieces, nephews and cousins. She was pre-deceased by her husband John, who died in 2003, her brother Barton Jenks, Jr. and her son-in-law Donald Moffitt. A celebration of life is planned for the spring. Contributions in Betty's name can be made to the Bennington Rescue Squad or VNA and Hospice of Southwestern Vermont, c/o Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home P.O. Box 957 Bennington, Vermont 05201. To send the family personal email condolences please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com The family has entrusted arrangements to the care of Hanson-Walbridge funeral Home 213 West Main Street Bennington, Vermont.

Published in Bennington Banner from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, 2012
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