Betty Jane Petrie Hawley Mead (93) passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home in Orem, Utah on August 17, 2023 due to complications of dementia. She was born July 31, 1930 in Berwyn, Illinois to George Rowe Petrie and Alvira Francis Sawyer. Betty Jane’s mother passed away when she was 18 months old and since it was during the Depression her Father wasn’t able to care for her alone. There were many relatives ready and willing to care for Betty. She always said, “Everybody wanted me”. She was given to her Aunt, Mary Ellen Sawyer and Uncle Albert “Bert” George Hawley moving to Madison Wisconsin to live. She remained close to her Father throughout her life. George remarried and Betty added another mother to her life, Janet Kathryn Ogle, and a half-brother, Charles L. Petrie.
During Betty’s early years she had the blessing of going to Argyle, Wisconsin to visit the Hawley family. It was when she was just three years old that she found her lifelong friend, Mary Frances “Tance” Hawley. They were “Country Mouse and City Mouse” and loved being together. Sadly, tragedy came again in her young life when Bert Hawley passed away in a car accident when she was 11 years old. Mary Ellen and Betty Jane moved in with close family friends, the Gerrys, in order to survive during WWII.
Betty attended Central High in Madison. Everybody knew her and her vivacious spirit. She attended dances and loved to be with her friends. It was there that she met the love of her life Kenneth Eugene Mead. They were married in Dubuque, Iowa on January 6, 1951. Together, Ken and Betty had four children while in Wisconsin and when Ken had an opportunity for professional growth they moved their family, including Mary Ellen, to Michigan.
Since Betty determined you can’t have two women in the kitchen, she obtained remote education and worked in the field of Medical Records. She eventually became the Director of Medical Records for Ingham Medical Center. and Health Central/Blue Care Network BCBSM HMO. Betty left a professional legacy in this field for two of her children and grandchildren. Once retired she became a “professional shopper” according to her husband and later a manager of a Bridal Salon. She had many gifts and talents including sewing, quilting, upholstery, family history, painting, and wallpapering which she used to bless her home and others as well. She loved music and dancing to Patsy Cline songs. She was never afraid to learn something new, getting her first computer at 70, taking her first trip to NYC and river rafting down the Snake River in her 80’s.
After 42 years of living in East Lansing, Michigan, Ken and Betty decided to move to the St. George, Utah area where they could enjoy the beauty of Southern Utah. They built their retirement home in Ivins, Utah and lived there for 14 years. With Ken’s declining health and Betty’s diagnosis of dementia, they decided to move closer to family and eventually moved in with their daughter, Mary Lynn Mead Staub and her husband David, where they stayed until their deaths. Betty Jane was preceded in death by her husband, mother, father, and half-brother. She is survived by her children: Jerome Allen (Lisa), Mark Jeffrey (Pam-deceased), Mary Lynn Staub (David), and Daniel Edmund, 6 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life for Betty Jane will take place on October 14, 2023 at 1 PM.Service Information
Celebration of Life
October 14, 2023 at 1:00 PM
Lake Hills Cemetery