The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Obituaries

February 13, 2013

Betty Law

JOHNSTOWN — LAW – Betty, 82, Johnstown, died Feb. 11, 2013. Betty was set free, from the dark veil of dementia and her spirit soars once again, inspiring us with the courage, and hope, and joy of living that was her gift to everyone she touched. There will always be a bright light that radiates from the soul of Betty Law. We have all struggled to understand the sick cosmic joke that would take the mind of a woman with such sharp intellect, passion for life and ability to connect with all who crossed her path. She was valedictorian of Adams Township’s Class of 1948, at a time when the daughter of a steel worker from Dunlo couldn’t dream of going to a university or having a career. She married and had five children, creating a warm and happy home that was filled with laughter and love, and the best home baking across the Alleghenies. She raised her children as Christians and instilled strong values around family, education and respect for Mother Nature. She taught her sons to value women as individuals with equally important rights, opinions and dreams for the future. She encouraged her daughters to look beyond marriage to discover their bliss and to find meaning through work and relationships. She gave her children confidence, curiosity about the big wide world beyond our hills and hollows and the belief they would succeed alongside the best and the brightest. Betty raised her youngest children as a single mom, stepping onto the bottom rung of a professional career after 20 years as a housewife – at a time when divorce was uncommon in her world, and very few women her age were trying to carve a path for future working mothers. She worked hard, took correspondence courses to earn qualifications and competed for advancement against rivals who were younger, university-educated and without the distractions of latchkey kids at home. She did great. After her children were grown, when the career she created for herself had come to a close, Betty brought the same passion and joy to her retirement we had come to expect of her. She and her close circle of friends square-danced and round-danced and line-danced their way across most of the United States, Canada and even a bit of Europe. She spent time with her children and grandchildren, bringing her bright spark as always to vacations at the beach and at Disney World; fueling old fashioned Christmases with her cooking and baking and decorations and ideas for entertaining the youngest ones; and continuing to open her home to all during the glorious summers when she was always “brown as a berry” from spending almost every waking hour in her gardens in Sidman, and that’s how we’ll remember her. We struggle to accept the sorrow of her long good-bye, but in the big picture, her illness wasn’t long compared to the fullness of her life and all the happiness she brought to everyone. She is survived by children, William III, Pamela Meehan, Kim McManus, Holly Atwell and Mark; 11 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; brother, William Wolford; and sister, Freda Gilliland. Private funeral arrangements at her request, by Frank Duca Funeral Home, Westmont Chapel, 1622 Menoher Blvd. Condolences may be sent through www.ducafuneralhome.com.

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