Betty left us on May 3, 2022 with a lifetime of memories at the age of 99. Preceded in death by parents, Andrew G. and Emma (Johnson) Hanson, husband of 60 years, Arthur J. Runft, 9-year-old son, Michael D. Runft, sister, Dorothy L. McDonald, and son-in-law Donald B. Thayer. She is survived by daughter Jane Thayer of Rockford, IL and son John (Katherine) Runft of Davisburg, MI; four granddaughters: Abigail (Michael) Croll of Johnston, IA, Jennifer Thayer of Boulder, CO, Kelsey Runft of Seattle, WA, and Lindsay Runft of Muskegon, MI; and great-grandchildren Molly, Lydia, and Robert Croll of Johnston, IA.
Born June 4th, 1922, on a farm near Story City, IA, Betty was a graduate of Iowa State University, where she majored in Home Economics Education and met her husband, Art. Betty taught school in Griswold, IA before moving briefly to Denver, CO to work at the Brown Palace. Betty and Art lived in Jackson, MI, Cincinnati, OH, Cedar Rapids, IA, and Whitefish Bay, WI before settling in Mequon, WI in 1956, where they became very active in their church and community. Their family built a home in Fairy Chasm overlooking Lake Michigan where they resided for 50 years. Betty loved to entertain and could often be found swimming in Donges Bay.
In between activities, Betty managed to find time for playing tennis, dancing, playing piano and violin, singing in the church choir, and writing a recipe book for her family. Betty also volunteered as a Girl and Boy Scout troop leader, Sunday School teacher, docent at the Milwaukee Public Museum and Milwaukee Art Center, and was a member of Crossroads Presbyterian Church. Avid travelers, Art and Betty visited 49 states and Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa. Betty also kept up with 7 friends from high school through a group letter, “The Round Robin,” and reunions for over 60 years.
There will be a private family service. In lieu of flowers, kindly send memorials to Crossroads Presbyterian Church in Mequon or Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, PO Box 5028, Hagerstown, MD 21741-9901.