Betty J. Church

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Betty J. Church, age 88, of Colorado Springs, Colo., formerly of Peoria, passed away at 8:48 a.m. on Monday, July 6, 2020, at Penrose Hospital, in Colorado Springs.

Betty was born on March 29, 1932, in Clinton, the daughter of Nora and William Otis Johnson. She loved growing up on their farm and was a Grand Champion Angus cow winner at the Illinois State Fair. Betty graduated from the University of Illinois in the College of Agriculture, was a member of 4-H House Sorority, and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. Betty was a professor at Bradley University for over 30 years in the Family and Consumer Sciences Department.

Betty loved foreign travel, especially with her co-professors and students as she taught fashion merchandising in Paris and London as part of Bradley’s Study Abroad Program. Betty received the University of Illinois  ACES Alumni Award of Merit, was President of the Illinois Home Economics Assoc., was a member of the Peoria Journal Star Newspaper Auxiliary Board, was named one of the Best Dressed Women of Central llinois and was an Honorary Member of Kappa Delta Sorority.

Betty’s biggest accomplishment and what she was most proud of was her loving family. Betty is survived by her daughter, Susan Singer of Madison, Wis.; son, Zackary (Tracy) Church of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and grandchildren, Zackary, Erin and Ryan Church. Betty was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Marian Lacy and brother, Harold Johnson.

Betty combined her love of family and travel with annual family vacations with children and grandchildren. She loved living in Peoria, being part of the community and her caring neighbors. Even in retirement Betty kept in touch with many of her students as well as previous neighbors and friends.

Private graveside services for Betty will be held at Mausoleum Park Cemetery, in Clinton, at a later date. The family has entrusted Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, with arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to University of Illinois 4-H Foundation (Local Program-Peoria) under Tribute Information.

Online condolences may be made at


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