Cover photo for Betty Chambers's Obituary
Betty Chambers Profile Photo
1924 Betty 2013

Betty Chambers

April 15, 1924 — October 22, 2013

Betty Ann Foltz Chambers, age 89, of Wilson, Wyoming died Tuesday, October 22, 2013, following a brief illness, at St. John's Medical Center in Jackson. A Celebration of her life will be held at First Baptist Church in Jackson on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 11:00 A. M. with Pastor Ray McDaniel officiating. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Senior Center of Jackson Hole or to St. John's Living Center, both in Jackson. Condolences can be sent to the family at valleymortuaryjackson.com.

Life Sketch

Betty Ann Foltz Chambers was born April 15, 1924, in Bucyrus, Ohio. She was the fifth of six children born to Willis Duff and Neoma Minnie Nigh Foltz. The family moved to southern California when she was 18 months old. At the age of six Betty got Rheumatic Fever and missed most of one year of school. She recovered fully and graduated high school in June 1942. Betty's parents divorced when she was eleven. When she was 14 her mother married a man with four children. About the same time her father remarried and had two sons and two daughters bringing Betty's family to 14 siblings. Betty met her future husband; James Eddy Chambers (Jimmy), a Wyoming cowboy in 1940 when he went to California to visit his uncle, who happened to be Betty's step-father. They eloped to Las Vegas October 25, 1941, but had to keep the marriage a secret so Betty could finish her senior year of high school. After graduation Betty traveled with Jimmy to his various army bases throughout the southern and western U.S. Their only child, Barbra Ann, who Jimmy promptly nicknamed "Happy", was born in Austin, Texas. After Jimmy completed military service, they bought a service station in California. Jimmy was not happy living in a busy city so when he suggested they sell and move to Wyoming Betty quickly agreed. Her family was positive that she was moving to the wilderness and the Indians would scalp everyone, but they packed and moved to Wyoming in the fall of 1948. Betty and Jimmy loved to dance and tried to attend any event where they could dance, and they won several local contests. Betty did countless hours of sewing for the Wilson Elementary School programs and was a "room mother" for several years. She chaperoned school trips and summer camps for both 4-H and Girl Scouts. Betty worked with the committee that petitioned the State to get a University Extension Office in Teton County in 1955. She then served as a 4-H sewing and cooking leader and assistant Beef Leader several years. As a charter member of the Homemaker Extension Club, she was a 40 year active member. She was also an active member of Cowbells, Cattle & Horse Association, Farm Bureau, BPO Does, and March of dimes. She was BPO Does of the year in 1981, Teton county homemaker of the Year in 1991, and Senior Citizen of the Year in 1994. Betty enjoyed many activities, including sewing, knitting, crocheting, singing in the church choir, being an elections judge, activities at the Senior Center, and attending events her family was involved in. She especially enjoyed volunteering at The Learning Center and C- V Ranch when her granddaughter, Anna Maria, was a student there. For over thirty years Jimmy and Betty lived and worked on cattle ranches in the valley where she cooked for the work crews varying in size from 3 to 30 people. Meals were not always served in the kitchen, but where were always warm and nourishing. During calving season she frequently had to cook around small calves brought into the kitchen to get warm and who despite all efforts never seemed to stay in one place. The girl who grew up in the city was truly a Wyoming ranch wife. She learned to ride a horse, drive various trucks and tractors, a caterpillar, and one or two team hitches of horses pulling a sleigh load of hay. She helped Jimmy with any and all ranch work. After leaving ranch life Betty worked in town at a lumber and hardware store and at a photography shop. Betty had a fierce determination to be independent as long as possible and continued to live in the home she and Jimmy designed and built in Wilson after his death in 1988. They had established a memorial to Homesteaders Museum in their yard several years before and she would give guided tours to visitors each summer dressed as a pioneer woman. Explaining horse-drawn farm equipment to some of the foreign visitors who did not speak English was often very entertaining. In August 2013, she chose to move into St. John's living Center where she made new friends and was very happy until her death October 22. Betty is survived by daughter, Happy (Martin) Weston of Wilson, granddaughter Jody (Keith) McCoy of Alpine, grandson Jerad (Jennifer) of Wilson, great grandchildren Cory McCoy and Heather McCoy (Scott) Langer of Cheyenne, Devan (Ann) McCoy of Spring Creek, Nevada, Nicholas and Brooke Weston of Wilson, and 10 great great grandchildren. She is also survived by two brothers and three sisters who live in Oregon and numerous nieces and nephews in California and Oregon. She was preceded in death by husband Jimmy and granddaughter, Anna Maria Weston.


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