Elizabeth Louise (Betty) Veenker was born in Keswick, Iowa, on October 8, 1921. A retired teacher, she attended Iowa State Teachers College where she studied Elementary Education.
On January 1, 1944, Betty married C. Harold (Hal) Veenker at the Marine Base in Quantico, VA. They moved to Oceanside, CA, when Hal was stationed at Camp Pendleton. When Hal went overseas, Betty returned to Iowa and worked as a children’s librarian. After the war, Betty and Hal taught school in Osage and Mason City, where they had two daughters, Yvonne, who died in infancy, and Jo Lee, named for Betty’s brother Joseph Lee.
In 1957, Hal and Betty moved to West Lafayette, Indiana, where Hal joined the Purdue University faculty and daughter Vicki was born. They were active members of First United Methodist Church where Betty volunteered for countless hours. When Hal retired, they established the Veenker Health Education Scholarship at Purdue and became members of the Purdue President’s Council and R.B. Stewart Society.
In 2008, Betty and Hal moved to northern California to live close to their grandchildren. They were married for 64 years, until Hal’s death in the fall of 2008.
Betty loved to dance, play bridge, watch sports, and travel. Starting in childhood, she was an avid reader, accomplished pianist, and nature lover.
Betty passed away on August 24, 2019. She is survived by daughter Jo Lee (husband John Shaffer) of Florida, daughter Vicki Susan (husband Tim Crockett) of California, granddaughters Hope and Faith of California, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Hal, daughter Yvonne, parents Ruby and Joseph F. Higgins, sister Harriet Draper, and brother Joseph Lee Higgins.
A funeral service will be held at Tippecanoe Memory Gardens on September 3, 2019. Friends may call beginning at 10am, with services at 11am. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Veenker Scholarship by check to “Purdue Foundation,” Dauch Alumni Center, 403 W. Wood Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, with “Veenker Health Scholarship” on the memo line, OR by donating online at https://giving.purdue.edu; or to First United Methodist Church of West Lafayette.