Ms. Boston died Wednesday, July 3, 2019.
Betty Connell Boston moved on into the next of life’s stages on July 3, 2019. Betty was born in Tildenville, Florida, and lived nearly all of her life in West Orange County, attending local schools. After graduation, Betty moved to the north to live and married a high school sweetheart. She lived a short time in Chicago and then returned home to Tildenville to restart her life with her daughters. To support her family, she worked locally while she attended some classes, but eventually went up to Tallahassee, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree to become a teacher. FSU was an all-girls school at the time.
Shortly after beginning her career, Betty stepped up and earned a master’s degree in education at the University of Florida. Betty taught at a number of local elementary schools, including Dream Lake, Tildenville and then settling in at Dillard Street Elementary School. While at Dillard Street, in 1959, Betty started the very first program for students with exceptional needs in Orange County Public Schools. She enjoyed getting to know her students through assessments, designing instruction to help them move back to grade level and to learn about life skills at the same time. Even at the end of her 97-year life, students she had taught called her and sent messages to her. She loved her career as a teacher and most of all, loved her students.
During Betty’s life, she enjoyed several hobbies and experiences that brought her happiness. She enjoyed traveling and was able to travel to Europe twice and find her brother’s grave (from World War II). She met the then president of the Philippines, who recognized her as the surviving spouse of a soldier who had fought to liberate their country in WWII. She traveled to the International Disabled Olympics in Australia to help a young person make the trip and compete. She was able to see Mexico, Canada and most of the United States. She loved traveling and learning about the people of our world.
Betty’s other hobbies included fishing, hunting, sewing, card making and crafts. Through crafting, she started a small group of crafters at her church, along with a few other ladies that became a great delight in her life. These ladies met at Windermere Union Church, UCC, on Tuesdays, made crafts and then went out for lunch. Eventually, the groups grew and decided to abandon the crafting but keep the eating, so at 11:30 a.m. each Tuesday, Betty had a standing appointment with the Tuesday Diners, a group of ladies who were very dear to her heart.
Betty will be missed by all of these people who were touched by her — as a student, as a friend, as fellow crafters. She will also be missed by her family: Betty (Dennis) Whitamore; Glenda (Gene) Loew, Ouida (Ron) Peavey, deceased son, Orville Boston (Kathy Boston), Margaret (Jerry) Nixon and Stacy (Albert) Berban. She enjoyed children and none more than her 15 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.
Betty’s greatest hope for the people around her was that they find peace in their lives and not use hurtful words that cannot be taken back.