MECHANICSBURG, PA - Betty G. Elliott, age 91, of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, formerly of Charleston, Illinois, passed away January 29, 2021. Her family is planning a memorial service later this year in Charleston. In lieu of flowers, Betty’s family suggests donations to Doctors Without Borders, The U.S. Fund for UNICEF, or Oxfam. Gifts may be mailed in care of Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, IL 61920.
Mrs. Elliott, a retired elementary teacher, taught at Mark Twain Elementary (1974-1989), and the EIU Laboratory School (1969-1974). She also taught school in Indiana, Colorado, and California. In all, her career spanned around 40 years of teaching elementary students to read.
Elizabeth G. “Betty” Gemmill was born on June 27, 1929 in Bluffton, Indiana and was raised on a farm along the Wabash River outside of Markle, Indiana. She was the daughter of Von and Fae Gemmill. She had three siblings who preceded her in death, two sisters (Lillian Engle and Alice Stewart) and a brother (Robert Gemmill). Her husband of 53 years, Dr. Thomas L. Elliott, preceded her in death. Surviving are her two children, Eric Elliott and Beth Elliott, daughter-in-law Lori (Watson) Elliott, granddaughters Cicely Elliott and Natalie Elliott, and grandson-in-law Chad Kuhns.
Betty grew up enjoying farm life and originally had no intention of attending college until winning a scholarship from the Girl Scouts at the Indiana State Fair a few weeks before classes started. She attended Ball State University and thoroughly enjoyed college life as she would relate to her family in later years. Upon graduation, she taught in Logansport, Indiana. While teaching there, she became engaged to Thomas (Tom) Elliott, whom she had met through her sister Alice. After marrying Tom, she taught in Muncie, Indiana and earned her Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from Ball State University. From there, Betty and Tom began moving back and forth between Anaheim, California (where Eric was born) to Charleston, Illinois (where Beth was born), then back to Fullerton, California. During her time in California, Betty developed a love of the beach and sunshine. After a year in Greeley, Colorado, where Tom finished work on his doctorate, the family returned to Charleston in 1969 after Tom accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University. Betty remained in Charleston until 2014 when she moved to Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, near her son Eric’s family. She resided at Messiah Village until her death.
Betty loved life and truly enjoyed learning and laughing each and every day. She was very active in a United Methodist Church wherever she resided, most recently Wesley United Methodist Church in Charleston, Illinois. She sang in the choir, served on many commissions, participated in the quilting group, taught Sunday School and was a proud member of the Friendship Sunday School class. Betty also enjoyed spending time with her family. Her greatest joys were visits with her children and grandchildren, as well as visits with siblings, nieces, and nephews. Her love of life and laughter drew family to her, and she relished in sharing time with them. Betty also came to “adopt” a treasured friend, Abdoulaye Traore, an international student from Burkina Faso in Africa. Through a chance meeting at church, Abdoulaye (and his family) became members of Betty’s family circle. At the ripe old age of 81, Betty even traveled to Burkina Faso to visit the Traore family.
Betty loved music (she was an avid attendee of concerts at Doudna at EIU), playing Hearts and Euchre, following college basketball and traveling (she visited almost every state in the US, went to Europe three different times, and made it to Africa). She was an avid quilter. Betty will be remembered for her unfailing love of the Chicago Cubs. She always flew the Cubs banner at her house and greatly enjoyed visits to Wrigley Field with her daughter Beth. She was thrilled beyond belief when they won the World Series in 2016.
Betty was truly loved and appreciated by her family and many friends.
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