Betty S. Wacker
Betty departed this earth peacefully to be with the Lord on February 9, 2013. There she joins the love of her life - her husband Brig. Gen. Rudolph F. Wacker (Retired), "Rudy" - who predeceased her in 2011.
Born to L.P. Strobel and Eda Mary Strobel, in Paris, Arkansas, she graduated from Paris High School in 1946, and Hendrix College, Arkansas in 1950. While teaching grade school she met 1st Lieutenant Rudy Wacker, a USAF pilot attending flight school, and a recent graduate of the West Point Military Academy. They were married on December 3, 1956 and embarked on an exciting military career including tours of duty in Vermont, Spain, Colorado, Florida, Alabama, California, Virginia, Texas and England. Ultimately attaining the rank of Brigadier General, USAF Rudy always said he couldn't have had the successful career he did without her. Betty was always involved in the Officers Wives Club activities and "did her part." She was an unwavering, supportive, participative and engaged partner in his life and his career. They saw and experienced the world together. They leave behind many friends in many states and multiple continents. After Rudy's retirement from the USAF in 1985 they lived for a time in Sherwood, Arkansas, and in 1999 moved to Springfield, Missouri to be closer to children and grandchildren.
Betty was an accomplished pianist, a loving wife and a wonderful mother and grandmother. Surviving her are her two sons: Paul Wacker, a practicing attorney in Springfield, MO and Rudy Wacker II, a retired healthcare executive living in Fair Grove, MO. Also a daughter in law Judy Wacker. She leaves behind five grandchildren Nikki Wallar of Springfield, MO, Jamie Gregory of St. Louis, MO, Lindsay Sargent of Overland Park, KS, Amanda Dinnell of Mount Pleasant, S.C., and Chris Wacker of Overland Park, KS, as well as seven great-grandchildren.
Her 1946 High School Annual reads: "Her smile is like the sunshine; it drives the clouds away." This remained true throughout her life.
Betty had been living at the James River Care and Rehabilitation Center where she has received wonderful care. A private graveside service will be held at the Springfield National Cemetery later this week where she will be interred close to Rudy. Arrangements are under the care of Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home. The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations may be made to the "Wounded Warriors" program.
Published in the News-Leader from Feb. 12 to Feb. 15, 2013