Bettye Elaine McCracken|
January 14, 1919 - March 13, 2014
Bettye was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado on January 14, 1919. The eldest of two daughters born to Fred and Frances Eubank, she grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and Omaha, Nebraska where her father was a brand inspector for the Livestock Exchange. As a young girl, she was nicknamed "Huck" by her father due to her zest for living and spirit of adventure, traits she retained all of her life. Bettye attended Park College and the Universities of Missouri and Nebraska, receiving her Bachelor's Degree in Political Science in 1941. She married James Charles McCracken in November of 1941, in Omaha, Nebraska.
During World War II, Bettye remained in Omaha while Jim served in Adak, Alaska. In 1947, Bettye and Jim moved to Bellevue, Nebraska and maintained a home there until 2007.
From 1948 to 1967, Bettye worked first for the American Red Cross, next as a probation officer for the Douglas County Juvenile Court and last as a case worker for Lutheran Family Service. In 1967, she attended the University of Missouri for post graduate studies and received her Master of Science, Social Work. Following the completion of her graduate studies, Bettye counseled and aided the families of mentally disabled children at the Glenwood, Iowa State Hospital until her retirement in 1982.
After her husband suffered a disabling stroke in 1970, Bettye provided 25 years of devoted love and adventure for Jim. With Bettye driving, they traveled the United States pulling a trailer. Upon her retirement, Bettye planned and supervised construction of a second home in Mission, Texas. From then until 2007, Bettye divided her time between Nebraska and Texas before permanently moving in 2007 to Salem, Oregon to be near family. Bettye lived independently at Hidden Lakes until shortly before her death.
Bettye was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, James; her daughter, Bonnie Faith; and her sister, Eleanor Heuer. She is survived by sons, James (wife Patti) and Russell (wife Elizabeth); grandchildren, Karen, Elaine (husband Lance), Julie, and John; and great-grandchildren Shawna and Katelin.
Bettye was an active member for sixty-five years in P.E.O. She was the third generation member of a legacy of five generations in P.E.O. that now includes her daughter-in-law and her granddaughter. P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization that promotes educational opportunities for women and helped Bettye fund her graduate studies. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made in her honor to: The Bettye Elaine and Bonnie Faith McCracken Scholarship Fund The PEO Foundation, 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312.
A Memorial Service will be held at Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service on April 5, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.
Published in StatesmanJournal on Mar. 30, 2014