Betty Wistrand, 96, passed away Friday, March 18th, 2022 at the Arbor Care Center, Franklin, Nebraska. She was born October 17, 1925 to Leo and Nellie (Hodges) Lucas in Dearing, Kansas.
Adventure came early in Betty’s life moving to Alaska and living in a log cabin where her dad worked for the Fish & Wildlife Service. She liked to tell how her dad rigged up a shot gun at the chicken house and killed a bear that was raiding the chickens. She liked to recall riding to school on a horse drawn sleigh with a wood stove on board for heat.
The family moved back to Dearing, Kansas living a typical small town life. Betty’s best friend was Reverend Brown’s daughter and one of their favorite misadventures was to sneak down to Onion Creek to skinny dip.
Betty graduated from Coffeyville High school working as a reporter for the Coffeyville Journal and later as a secretary at the US Army Training Command in Coffeyville where she met her husband Bob Wistrand. They were married on April 3rd, 1944 before Bob was shipped off to the Philippines. At the end of WWII, the couple moved to a farm in the Republican River Valley south of Franklin, Nebraska. In 1951 they bought a farm in the Missouri Ozarks near Noel, Missouri where she worked at Fort Crowder.
After returning to Franklin in 1964, Betty was active in the community serving as President of the Women’s Club and on the Library Board while managing the Community Action Center of Mid-Nebraska. She became an advocate for helping people obtain the resources necessary to improve their lives.
Betty was an avid reader, bridge player and never turned down a chance to visit the casinos. She also enjoyed traveling whether it was camping trips, south for the winter, cruises or fun filled trips to Europe with friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband Robert W. Wistrand and two sisters Jeane Jones and Bonnie Goodson.
Betty is survived by children, Bob and Pam Wistrand, Franklin, NE and Patti Troutwine, Arcanum, OH; seven grandchildren: Rob Wistrand, Megan Sedersten, Suzanne Wistrand, Timothy Wistrand, Troy Troutwine, Antonia Baker, and Cody Troutwine; 16 great grandchildren: Psalm, Pascha and Lachlan Wistrand, Tyler and Chloe Sedersten, Asa, Eli, Isaiah, Rush, Sinachack, and Atlas Henderson, Brennen and Brycelin Troutwine, Caleb and Katrina Baker, Videssa and Elam Troutwine; her siblings Norma Posey, Amarillo, TX and Andy Lucas, Ft. Worth, TX; other relatives and friends.
Graveside services and interment will be held 2:00pm Friday, March 25th, 2022 at Greenwood Cemetery, Franklin, Nebraska. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials be made to the “Friends of the Library”, 1502 P St., Franklin, NE 68939. The family will be greeting family and friends Thursday, March 24th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Hutchins Funeral Home, Franklin, Nebraska.