Betty Lou (VanAuker) Richard
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MANSFIELD: Long before Sophie Kinsella's iconic character Rebecca Bloomwood became the Shopaholic, there existed one Mansfield lady who relished a retail world of her own, Betty Lou (VanAuker) Richard… the original Shopaholic. She knew that "Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping." It has been said that you can tell everything you need to know about a woman by shopping with her. Betty's shopping style would reflect a high-spirited, kind-hearted, determined woman who loved her family and friends.
Betty passed away Wednesday, October 30, 2013 in MedCentral Mansfield Hospital following a short illness. She was 79.
She was born November 21, 1933 in Mansfield to the late Alfred W. and Frances E. (Robinson) VanAuker and was graduated from Mansfield Senior High School in 1951.
Proud of her '51 Tygers, Betty served as the treasurer, secretary and the "glue" that kept her graduating class together. Every five years she was at the helm of planning the reunion, which usually began the very day after it was held. Organized and fun, she looked forward to choosing the venue right down to the menu, even planning an 80th birthday bash for her classmates. Attendees always knew the party would be fun with a hostess like Betty.
On July 24, 1954 she married Dean M. Richard, and together they celebrated 56 years. They enjoyed a playful marriage with humor and affection, mutual respect and shared hobbies. He preceded her in death on November 1, 2010.
Determined and hardworking, Betty worked in the payroll department at Ohio Brass, but left the workforce to raise her family. Her children grown, she returned to Ohio Brass for ten years before her retirement in the 80's.
Betty enjoyed investing her hard earned money into various local shopping hotspots like Kohls, Dollar Tree and Big Lots… or anyplace that provided shopping carts for her to fill. Determined, if there was a special item she wanted, Betty found a way to earn the money to buy it. Make no mistake about it, Betty was no hoarder, her treasures almost always had a purpose or a receiver in mind. She loved taking her granddaughters hunting for school clothes, looking for deals on tennis shoes, and buying gifts for family members. When Christmas approached, Betty found herself in retail heaven, shopping season was on! Giving to those she loved brought her great joy.
Crazy for her Ohio State Buckeyes, Betty collected anything with a Block "O" on it. An avid sports fan, she loved watching OSU Football adorning her Buckeye gear, and making a friendly wager on the outcome of the game.
Energetic, and adventurous, she enjoyed being outdoors in the sunshine, tending to the flower and vegetable garden that she and Dean put out every year, and keeping pristine landscaping armed with her very own lawn mower. She made special memories with her family at Lake Erie, even taking jet-ski rides into her 70s. Betty kept tabs on her favorite soaps and TV shows and lived for her milk chocolate and morning Coca-Cola.
A dedicated mother and grandmother, "Bay" and "Grandma Lou" will be remembered for her feistiness and generosity, and her ability to remain young at heart, even through the most difficult times.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Debra L. and Frederick Ross of Mansfield; son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Shawn Richard of Ontario; two granddaughters, Kaylee L. and her husband, Jared Port and Sammantha L. "Sammi" Richard and her fiancé, Jonny Colarosa all of Mansfield; a great grandson, Miles Port; sister-in-law, Evelyn Boughton of Westerville, along with nieces, nephews and numerous extended family members.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by brothers-in-law, Dick Richard and Bob Boughton.
Friends may call Sunday, November 3, 2013 from 1-5 pm in the Finefrock Chapel of the Marion Avenue Snyder Funeral Home where the funeral service will be held Monday at 1 pm. Betty's friend and classmate, Pastor Melvin Hobson will officiate and burial will follow Mansfield Cemetery.
Memorial contributions in honor of Betty may be made to the Stefanie Spielman Research Fund at the funeral home.
Private expressions of sympathy may be made to the family by visiting: SnyderFuneralHomes.com
Published in the News Journal from Nov. 1 to Nov. 3, 2013
Snyder Funeral Home
350 Marion Ave Mansfield, OH 44903