Green River Star -

Betty W. Howell


Courtesy photo

Betty W. Howell

Betty W. Howell, 85, of Rock Springs, passed away Feb. 21, 2015 at her home. She was a resident of Rock Springs and a former long-time resident of Casper. Howell died following a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Betty was born Jan. 22, 1930 in Casper. She attended schools in Casper and graduated from Natrona High School in 1948. 

Betty married Robert S. Johnson and had three children, Robert S., William J., and John R. Johnson. Betty and Robert eventually divorced and she later married Ed McMackin and they had one daughter, Carrie Lynn.

Betty was employed by Mountain Bell Telephone Company where she started as a switch board operator working her way into a front office position. She was one of two women that were offered positions with the company that were considered a "man's position" at the time. They were also the first to receive equal pay to their counterparts.  She retired with Mountain Bell as a second level supervisor.

Betty believed that her sons should have the opportunity to hunt and fish, and she took her sons and nephews fishing and camping when they were younger.  She continued to hunt and fish with her sons even as they became adults. She loved deer and antelope hunting on the prairie as well as elk hunting in the mountains with her brother, sons, and grandchildren. She also loved going fishing in Wyoming's mountain streams and lakes, and she even made it to Canadian waters. Betty also adored her opportunity to be a mother to her daughter, and she enjoyed doing things with her including shopping and helping her excel in her school activities.

Betty loved to travel and she enjoyed visits to California, Las Vegas, Nev., and it wasn't unusual to find her in Deadwood, S.D. playing a slot machine.  After her retirement, she even traveled to Atlanta, where she visited the Coca-Cola factory and had wonderful stories of her trip to share with her children and grandchildren. 

Betty had an unselfish and endless love for her family. She would travel near and far to watch the events that her grandchildren participated in including basketball, wrestling, and hockey.  All of her grandchildren brought her great joy, and she would hold her grand babies for hours.

Betty is survived by three of her four children, Robert S. and wife Ava Johnson of Recluse, William J. Johnson of Rock Springs, and Carrie L. and husband David Lee of Casper. Twelve grandchildren, (Robert) Stacy, Wes, Rebecca, John, (William) Shawn, Ryan, Joshua, Christian, Gabriel, Jordan, (Carrie) Austin, Aubree. Seventeen great-grandchildren, sister Viola Bullington, sister-in-law Georgia Fay Struck, and numerous great nieces and nephews.

A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church at 116 Broadway in Rock Springs. A parish rosary will be recited at 6 p.m. Friday at Vase Funeral Chapel at 154 Elk Street in Rock Springs.

Inurnment will be in the Rock Springs Municipal Cemetery. Friends may call at the Vase Chapel on Friday one hour prior to the rosary and on Saturday morning at the church, one hour prior to services.


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