Elizabeth "Betty" J. Riker, 87, of Athens Pa., passed away on Monday, Feb. 17, 2014 at Memorial Hospital Skilled Nursing in Towanda, Pa. with family by her side.
Born Nov. 1, 1926 in Scranton, Pa., she was the daughter of Keith Jerauld and Erma Jerauld Gardner (nee Smith). Betty graduated from Clark Summit High School in 1944 where she played on the women's basketball team as a guard. She was a past member of the Athens United Methodist Church in Athens, Pa.
She is predeceased by her parents and also by a son, Gary David in 1951. She is survived by her daughter Beth Ann and son-in-law Dale Howell of Burke Va.; and a sister, Dorothy Rink of Apalachin, N.Y.; and by nieces and nephews.
Betty spent her early adult life as a wife, loving mother, and homemaker while married to Donald Riker Jr., although the marriage ended in divorce. She spent summers enjoying camping and fishing, both locally and across the country. Spending a year in Wyoming, her favorite hobbies included horseback riding and learning how to knit. She took pleasure in shopping and found satisfaction in finding a good bargain. She was a talented seamstress, making many of her own clothes. She passed her enjoyment of these activities on to her daughter.
During the late sixties and into the seventies, her work outside the home was spent as a teacher's aide at what was then Audrielle Lynch Elementary School in Athens where she developed friendships with some of the teachers she supported. However, she especially valued and immensely enjoyed her time spent with the children. Following her time as an aide, she spent many years in the volunteer office at the Robert Packer Hospital, amassing over 19,000 hours. Her favorite activity there was answering the telephone and coordinating related errands. She was presented with pins acknowledging her ever-increasing contributions. She had an early ambition to be a nurse, so in some sense she helped fulfill this desire volunteering at the hospital.
Betty held a special place in her heart for animals of most any kind and supported local and national causes to rescue them and make their lives better. For many years there was always a dog in the home, and she took much pleasure in the companionship. Her most recent favorite was her daughter's family dog "Jill".
Those wishing to make a memorial contribution in her name may make a donation to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), or Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, P.O. Box 50037, Arlington, VA 22205.
Burial will be in Fairlawn Cemetery in Dalton, Pa., with Reverend Richard Davis officiating. At Betty's request, funeral services will be private and held at the convenience of the family.
Those wishing to sign the E-guestbook or send condolences and/or memorials may do so by visiting www.loweryfuneralhome.com