Betty Jane (Tate) Turney

1922-2008

Thursday, January 31, 2008

SCHAUMBURG - Betty Jane (Tate) Turney, 85, died Wednesday (Jan. 30, 2008).

She was the fond wife of the late Robert Turney; loving mother of Jane Christine Turney and partner James Keating, Judith Goldsmith and husband Don Goldsmith, Linda Jean Turney and partner Nettie Sabin; grandmother of Robert, Jeffrey and Mark Goldsmith; and sister of John Henry and Frank D. Tate Jr.

Mrs. Turney was born March 24, 1922, in Bentonville, Ark., to Lula A. Harris Tate and Frank D. Tate, the owner and operator of the first Coca Cola Bottling plant in Galesburg.

Betty attended elementary and high school in Galesburg (Class of 1940) and Knox College (Class of 1944). Betty was an outstanding musician and played first chair violin with the Knox College Orchestra. Upon graduation she played with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. During WWII she was an Armed Forces radio announcer in Oklahoma City while her husband served in the Army.

After the war she began teaching and was one of the first educators to receive reading specialist certification in the state of Illinois. She retired in 1977 after many years as a teacher/school administrator with the Aurora and DeKalb school systems.

Between 1959 and 1974 Betty's family made their home in Sandwich, Ill. During that time, she was a founding member and the first president of the Sandwich Park District. Under her leadership, she helped to organize and create the three parks in Sandwich that continue to provide recreation for the children in that community.

Upon retirement, Betty and her husband, Robert, the superintendent of Sandwich School District 430 at the time, opened several "Young Set" children's clothing stores in Schaumburg, Norridge and Hanover Park.

In the late 1980s and 1990s Betty worked as a Realtor and piano and violin teacher in her Schaumburg home and with the String Project music store in Rolling Meadows. She deeply loved teaching music to children and did this until she was 81 years old. Her other creative interests were crocheting, knitting, traveling and spending time with her family.

Service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Ahlgrim and Sons, 330 West Golf Road, Schaumburg (847-882-5580). Visitation will be 3 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Memorial donations may be made to Alzheimer's Association, 4709 Gold Road, Suite 1015, Skokie, IL 60076.

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