Betty Kay Olson
September 9, 1933 ~ April 20, 2020
In the peacefulness of God’s presence, Betty Kay (Bell) Olson, 86, passed on to her heavenly home on Apr 20, 2020, leaving her “temporary” home, Via Elegante Assisted Living, in Hereford, AZ., where she had been a resident since July 2018.
Betty Kay was born September 17, 1933 in Sidney, Montana, to Adolph “Duff” and Emma (Quilling) Bell. As a child, she lived and attended schools in the Sidney area, graduating with the Sidney High School Class of 1951. After graduation, she worked locally for several years, including helping her mother manage the Wheel Inn, a small restaurant her family owned. She later enrolled in Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, Idaho, to study home economics and art. It was there she met Phillip Olson. They were married on May 23, 1958 in the Church of the Nazarene in Sidney, Montana. For their honeymoon, Betty and Phil traveled to Ft Huachuca, in Sierra Vista, Arizona, where Phil was assigned, after being drafted into the U.S. Army. They remained in Sierra Vista at the end of his service and Phil started working for the school district.
Betty Kay worked at McClellan’s and McCrory’s department stores, in Sierra Vista, as manager of their snack bars. She was also a Stanley dealer in the area for 23 years.
Skilled in many areas, Betty was an artist. Working with oils, she created gifts. Their home was decorated with her original paintings. She made many creative crafts. She was also a chalk artist; illustrating stories, songs and scripture. As an expert seamstress/tailor, Betty created suits for her husband and beautiful outfits for herself, often coordinating. She did alterations and upholstering as well.
Betty enjoyed gardening, growing fruit trees and cultivating berries, the harvests of which she generously shared. Betty made many jams and jellies to sell and share. She liked to bake, and took pride and joy in sharing her famous fruitcake at Christmas with family and friends. The Olsons enjoyed entertaining in their home, especially for Sunday dinners. Betty and Phil enjoyed board games, and supported the Buena High School Basketball Team with their attendance. They also loved to travel, and made many trips driving their “Orange Blossom Special” truck to visit their kin.
The love of Betty’s life was her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; and her church. She was a Charter Member of the Sierra Vista First Church of the Nazarene, organized in 1959. As long as her health permitted she faithfully attended services and activities. The Olsons were known to pray over empty pews for the souls of people who would be sitting in them. As a part of that congregation, she was honored with a Distinguished Service Award for her faithful service in choir, mission programs, and teaching Sunday School classes for 40 years. The musical duets they sang were enjoyed by many over the years. She also spent time exploring God’s word as part of the Women’s Bible Study. She had a great concern for people and was a true prayer warrior.
Although Betty and Phil were not blessed with children of their own, they loved and took great interest in the children of others, especially those of their family and friends. They hosted Backyard Good News Clubs for many years, and were honored for their service on the Child Evangelism Fellowship board
Betty Kay was preceded in death by her loving husband of 55 years, Phillip Olson, as well as her parents, and brothers Richard “Dick” Bell and Robert “Bob” Bell. Surviving her are three sisters-in-law Jena Bell (Garrison, ND), Joan Bell (Sidney, MT), and Eleanor Taggatz (Chanhassen, MN); a special cousin, Beverly “Babe” (George) Moerkerke (Paradise Valley, AZ); and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Interment will be at the Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Betty Kay Memorial Fund at the Church of the Nazarene, 1215 S El Camino Real, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635, or to Child Evangelism Fellowship of Cochise County, P.O. Box 34, Sierra Vista, AZ 85636.
Plans for a Celebration of Life Service will be announced later.
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