Elizabeth "Betty" (Durgan) Metcalf, died quietly at home on Jan. 11, 2013, with family attending her. Betty, the eldest of six children, was born to Jay and Beth Richardson on May 30, 1924, in Cardwell, Montana.
In June 1943, she married her sweetheart, Burt Durgan, who had just returned to Montana from his military service in Fairbanks.
In 1951, she enthusiastically supported Burt's desire to move their small family, Lynn, then age 6, Lois, age 4, and David, age 3, to Alaska. Life was difficult without running water or electricity for the first few years while they built their own log house on the Steese Highway.
While working in local potato fields to supplement family income, she met Dr. Fitz, founder of the Nazarene Church in Fairbanks. Through his testimony, she found her Lord and Savior and a wonderful group of families at First Church of the Nazarene who became her Alaska family and support network while raising her children for the next 25 years.
Her generous heart established many lifelong friendships which she maintained till her death. She shared her home with many, despite her limited resources.
Keeping in touch with family in Montana was also very important to her. After Burt's death in 1981, she married "Bud" Metcalf, of Tacoma, Wash., where she then moved. During the next 15 years, she was active in Tacoma First Nazarene Church, again making lots of dear friends and learning to play golf, etc.
When Bud died in the mid 1990s, she decided to move back to Montana where her many friends and family were. In 2009, Betty moved back to Fairbanks to live with her daughter, Lynn.
In the weeks before her passing, she reflected on the wonderful life she had enjoyed with the blessings of so many people, good health, etc., and so looked forward to her journey to Heaven.
Betty is survived by her daughters; Lynn Durgan-Tetling and her husband, Michael, of Fairbanks; Lois Durgan-Farb and her husband, Joe Whitehall, of Montana; grandchildren, Dave Durgan, of Fairbanks, Jennifer Cordes, Vanessa Hildebrand, Donnie Durgan, Heather McWhorter, Bryce Smith, Alex Brown and Chelsea Datillo; four great-grandchildren, Kaitlin, Wyatt, Nisreen and Zain; sister, Phyllis, of Helena; and many nieces and nephews.
Betty was preceded in death by her son, David; husbands, Burt and Bud; and many other close family members.
A celebration of her life with be held on May 30, 2013, her birthday, in Montana, where her ashes will join those of her son, David, and her husband, Burt, and other family in Paradise Valley, Mont.
A thank you to all who called her "friend" and made her life rich beyond measure.
Thoughts and prayers can be directed to Lynn Durgan-Tetling, 775 Chelsea Lane, Fairbanks, AK 99712 or Lois Durgan-Farb, 60 Brazin Lane, Whitehall, Montana 59759.
Arrangements were entrusted to Chapel of Chimes Funeral Home.