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Elizabeth Nunemaker

1920 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Elizabeth Nunemaker Obituary
Nunemaker, Elizabeth D. "Betty"

Elizabeth D. "Betty" Nunemaker, 95, passed away peacefully on July 20, 2016, on what would have been her 70th wedding anniversary. She was preceded in death by her husband, John C. Nunemaker, her brother, Ralph Dowd, and parents, Clyde and Pearl Dowd of New Jersey. She is survived by her son, Charles W. Nunemaker, and his wife, Dorothy; daughters Ann Hartman and her husband, Paul; Susan Braun and her husband, Rich; grandchildren Caitlin, Mary & John Nunemaker, Trinity Hartman & her husband, Robert Blasum, Paula Bigham & her husband, James, Sam & Hannah Braun; great grandchildren Konrad Blasum and Hallie Bigham.

Betty was born on October 6, 1920 in Wichita Falls, TX. Her family moved to Tulsa, OK where her father worked as traffic manager for Tidewater Oil. When she was in high school her family moved to Summit, NJ. After graduation from Regis College in Boston, she was employed at Ciba Pharmaceuticals in Summit. Betty wanted to do her part for the war effort so she joined the Red Cross and began the adventure of her life. She was sent to Egypt where she organized trips to Giza, Luxor and Abu Simbel for the American GIs, served hamburgers and cokes in the officers' club and planned holiday parties to keep the troops entertained. While serving with the Red Cross, Betty met her future husband, Jack, who was stationed there as an army doctor. They married upon returning to the States in 1946. They lived in Salt Lake City, UT, Arlington, VA and finally settled in Evanston, IL when Jack took a position with the American Medical Association. They stayed in Evanston for 18 years raising their family. They spent holidays with their neighbors, the "Lower Monticello Street Gang." Betty was an active community participant, volunteering wherever she was needed. Whether it was a Cub Scout Den mother, Girl Scout leader, PTA President, or driving to and from the YMCA Plant Room dances, Betty was always willing to be there for her children.

Jack and Betty retired to Las Cruces, NM in 1975 where they tended their pecan orchard and fruit trees. Betty enjoyed the camaraderie of her new friends in the local investment and literary clubs. They also participated in the Academy of Learning in Retirement at NMSU, the Rio Grande Historical Society and the NM Farm & Ranch Museum. Betty enjoyed serving as a docent at the local museums. Like her mother, Betty was an excellent seamstress. She sewed endless costumes for dance recitals, Halloween and theater performances for her children, and dresses for her granddaughters. She also knitted, sometimes very elaborate Nordic pattern sweaters for family. She was famous for her delicious lemon tarts.

After Jack's death Betty moved to Corrales, NM to be closer to her youngest daughter's family. Again, she served as a docent at Casa San Ysidro, until the onset of dementia. We will always remember her kindness and generosity. She was determined to have a positive outlook throughout her life. She loved music, and singing was a great comfort toward the end.

Our family is eternally grateful for the great care she received from her dear friend, Virginia Eder, and from the gentle and attentive staff at The Retreat in Rio Rancho. Cremation by French Funerals has already taken place. A private memorial & reception for family and friends will be on October 30, 2016. Donations in Betty's memory may be sent to the American Red Cross or the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum.
Published in Albuquerque Journal from Oct. 28 to Oct. 30, 2016
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