THORNTON, Colo. – Betty Jean Burk Hertzler died peacefully at her home in Thornton on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. She was 93.
Betty was born to Jay Van and Cleo Ethel Burk on Dec. 31, 1925, in Torrington. She grew up in a loving family, the middle of five children. After graduating from Torrington High School, she attended the University of Colorado.
During WWII, older brothers Keith and Max served as pilots in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Sadly, Max was killed in action. In addition to her brothers, Betty corresponded with numerous other service members around the world, offering support and encouragement.
Betty married Glenn J. (Jack) Hertzler Jr. at the Methodist Church in Torrington on Jan. 1, 1949. They moved to the Hertzler farm near Veteran, where they were blessed with six children. Sadly, their first born, Lynn Anne, lived only a few days. Although her time with Lynn Anne was brief, Betty often spoke fondly of that time, and the black curls on her baby’s head.
Betty was involved with the Methodist Church, Civil Air Patrol, square dancing, bowling, bridge club, and county and state political organizations, all while keeping five farm kids from getting in too much mischief. In addition to war correspondence, Betty authored a column in the Torrington Telegram, and entered several “jingle” writing contests.
The family moved to Cheyenne in 1967, and Betty continued her most important and satisfying task – rearing five children. She was a purveyor of hospitality, love and friendship. These qualities expressed themselves in her professional and civic endeavors, including operating a community welcoming service, serving areas of Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska. Betty was also a realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Realty in Cheyenne. She chaired the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Wyoming for several years.
Betty moved to Denver in 1998, working with her sons, Glenn and Joe, in their aviation business. She retired and moved to Thornton in 2003, where she lived for the past 16 years. Betty approached the challenges of life with strength through faith in the Lord, and a persistent belief in positive outcomes, always with an attitude of humility and grace.
Throughout her life, Betty showed others how to live well and to love unconditionally. She will be missed by all who knew her. But like a ship we watch disappear over the horizon and say “There, she is gone,” there are other eyes on a distant heavenly shore gladly shouting “Here she comes!”
Betty is survived by five children: Julie Anne, Glenn J. III (Carol), Jerold Max (Terry), Jane Louise (Bill) and Joseph Van (Colette); 10 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; sister, Betha Jane and brother Burc.
She was preceded in death by daughter Lynn Anne, brothers Marion Keith and Darrell Max.
A memorial service is planned to celebrate Betty’s life and legacy at 3 p.m., Saturday, April 6, 2019, at Highlands United Methodist Church in Denver (3131 Osceola St.). There will also be a service in Torrington at a later date, followed by the burial of her ashes at Valley View Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Betts Vets Incorporated at P.O. Box 64, Marenisco, MI 49947 (www.bettsvets.org).