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Betty Olson - March 9, 2016
I was born
on Saturday, May 14, 1927 in Middletown Ohio. My parents were George and Suzanne (Johnson) Egelston.
They had five girls; Pearl, Mae, Phyllis,
Lois (not pictured) and me.
109 Moore St. Middletown, Ohio
Betty Age 6 month
Betty Age 16
I met Blaine at Anderson University, Indiana. He had come back to Anderson to visit the man
he had worked for while he was there. He
stopped by to see Mary Cima, my
roommate. I had gone to Anderson right after I graduated because I knew I would
need to get a job to help with my college expenses. My sister Mae and Mary Cima
(a sister of June who was married to Blaine's brother Carl) had an apartment
for the summer and I moved in with them. Blaine came to see Mary while he was there visiting and asked her out
for dinner. She already had a date and
suggested he take me. (Mae had gone back
home because she was engaged and planned to get married in Middletown) I said "sure" and so we went out to dinner,
and then a horse show at the Anderson Fairgrounds. It was a cold night for August and when he
brought me back, Mary was not in yet, and I offered to make some hot
chocolate. He took me up on this and we
talked for quite a while. The next day
he went to a picnic with Mary. Sunday
morning he went to Sunday School with us and just before heading home asked me
if it would be OK if he wrote me. I said "sure." He wrote almost EVERY DAY. I came
back to Anderson at Thanksgiving and I took him home. Mae got married that weekend and I was in her
wedding. We drove back to Anderson in a blinding snowstorm that night, got in
about 11:30, stopped someplace and got something hot to drink, and I got back
to my dorm after midnight. The dorm
mother could not believe we had come from Ohio in this kind of weather.
Betty sitting on wall at College 1945
They used my picture for the handouts at a Youth For Christ Rally
Blaine kept writing, and almost every day I got a
letter. I came to De Soto at Easter, met
his family, and we got engaged. I went back to Anderson University, returned in
August and we got married in the De Soto Church because my church in Ohio was
without a pastor at that time.
No author could write a story like this and get it published
today! It is my strong belief that the Good Lord brought us together, and since
we will celebrate our 70th anniversary in August. I think that is proof enough!
When I was a child I thought 60 was old. I could not image living that long. Now, at 88
(almost 89!) I look back and am really
somewhat amazed I got involved in so many activities!
Church of God
World Service Office. Part time job while at College. I worked for Rev. C.W. Hatch, Director of this office.
Dearing , Richeson and Weier, Attorneys at
Law, Hillsboro, MO. I worked as
secretary for Samuel Richeson of this firm from 1955 to June of 1958.
Public Library : I began working in August of 1958, became
Library Director in August of 1962 and retired on September 1, 2014. (56 years)
De Soto City Council honors Olson for 50 years as head librarian
De Soto Public Library to celebrate 80th anniversary Oct. 6
activities: I served as President of
Missouri Women of the Church of God for 10 years. This position also made me a
member of the State Christian Service Board where I ended up as secretary for
those meetings. Forest Robinson, who was pastor of the Sikeston Church, left
there to become President of Mid America Bible College in Oklahoma City. At the
end of one of the CSB meetings (he came to urge the ministers to promote their
youth to attend the college,) he got a call and was out for a few minutes. The meeting was over when he came to me and
asked if I would be willing to have my name on the ballot to be a member of the
Mid-America Board. The ballots were to go to the printer and he needed one more
person to run. He told me, "You won't be elected because you will be running
against a woman from KY who has a doctoral degree and is sure to win." So I
said OK and thought no more of it. As
State WCG President, Blaine drove me to Anderson for the annual WCG meeting and
General Assembly. At the GA meeting they had nominees for the various offices
stand and I was introduced so people could see me. We left and were in our
hotel room, getting ready to go on to Ohio, when Diane called me and said, "Mom
you got elected!" So I ended up serving 2 terms (10) years on that board.
In our local church I have always laughingly
said, "I've done about every job except preaching, treasurer, board member and janitor." I taught classes from Beginners to
Senior Adults, directed the choir for a time, played organ and piano, served on
boards and committees, and Blaine and I served as Youth Leaders for a number of years, taking the
young people to Kentucky, Minnesota, Texas and Colorado for the National Youth Conventions.
Mueller talked me into attending a meeting of the Jefferson County Historical
Society in the 1980's. History has
always been one of my interests so I kept going and eventually became Treasurer
for that group. Dr. Ray Henry was President and was a wonderful l man to work
with. I am still active in this group at this time (2016). Blaine has done a lot of data entry work for
them which Lisa Gendron, our web master, has put on our website (Jefferson County Missouri Historical
Betty and Blaine were honored by the
Jefferson County Historical Society at a 2016 Appreciation Reception
I have two
wonderful children who have made me very proud. Gary and Diane, and as I look
at their accomplishments, I really could
not ask for more in my life time. Gary and Crickett, have
made it possible for Blaine and I to remain in the home we have lived in for
almost all of our married lives. We are proud of the work Diane and Trent have
done in service to the Lord in various churches and still continue to do. Our
grandchildren, Andrea, Russ, Justin and Jared are much loved and we enjoy
hearing about what they are doing. Our great grandchildren, Patrick and Lydia,
how fortunate we have been to live long enough to know and love them. They also
make us proud. Four generations of us all
still living is amazing to me. I only
knew my Grandpa Egelston for 9 years. I met my
grandparents' Johnson on one visit to Kentucky when I was about 7 years old,
and never saw them again before they died. I have lived longer than any of my
sisters, except my youngest sister Lois.
My mother died six days short of being 97 years old: March 26,
1899-March 20, 1996. My father was born
April 14, 1899 and died September 29, 1973.
interesting fact about my life is that I am the only one of we five girls whose
birth certificate shows her last name as Eggleston. All the rest are Egelstons! (English
spelling) Dad had decided to use the Americanized spelling of the name before I
was born so I got it. I can recall a family reunion where the brothers (all
eight of them) argued about the spelling, most of them still using the Egelston
spelling. A few years before she died my mother wrote me a letter saying she
had checked with the office handling the birth records in Ohio, and yes, my
name was Eggleston. For $10 they would change my birth certificate. However, since I had gone through my early
life using the two g's in the name, I decided against changing the spelling on
my birth certificate. All my school records were under
Eggleston, and when I got married it was Betty Jane Eggleston who married Russell
Blaine Olson. So future genealogists
will have a ball with this!!