Betty Murray, 91, of Bemidji, died peacefully June 30, 2019, at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, North Dakota, after a brief illness. A memorial service will be held Thursday, July 18, at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 501 Minnesota Avenue, in Bemidji. Pastor Chip Holt will officiate. Visitation with the family will be held beginning at 10:00 am, prior to the service.
Betty LaMar Thomason was born May 17, 1928, to John and Mary Elizabeth Thomason in St. Charles, Missouri. The family moved to Duluth, Minnesota, when Betty was two months of age, and it was there where she received her education, graduating cum laude from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1950.
During her high school and college years she played the bassoon with the Duluth Symphony, and this position laid the foundation for her love and appreciation of classical music. In September 1950 she came to Bemidji to teach Social Studies at the Junior High School and remained in that position for fifteen years. From June 1969 to August 1983 she worked at the Oman Agency of State Farm Insurance.
She married Arthur I. Peterson on August 14, 1954. After his death she married George Murray on April 18, 1970. He died August 25, 2005.
Betty was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church, where she sang in the choir for over 60 years, served as treasurer for the women's association and was the church secretary from 1984-1988. She was an active member of the Order of the Eastern Star and held several offices through the years, the most notable being that of Organist. She was an auxiliary member of the American Legion, VFW and DAV.
She enjoyed reading, word puzzles, singing and playing the piano for her friends at BirchHaven Village, her residence in Bemidji for the past 11 years.
Condolences may be sent to Betty's sister, Rebecca Evans, 5000 S. 107th Street, Apt. 140, Greenfield, Wisconsin 53228.
In addition to her sister, Betty is survived by a niece, Elizabeth Evans (Tulley Smith) of Shorewood, Wisconsin, and two nephews, David Evans (Denise) of Richmond, California, and Jonathan Evans (Julie Volkmann) of Caledonia, Wisconsin; a great-nephew, Neil Evans, of Richmond, California; a step-daughter, Susan Benson (Paul) of Boulder, Colorado, and five step-grandchildren and eight step-great grandchildren.
Following the service, a light lunch will be served in the church's fellowship hall. Interment will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, in Minneapolis, at a later date. The Cremation Society of Minnesota is handling the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers the family prefers memorials to the Bemidji Community Food Shelf, 1260 Exchange Ave, SE, Bemidji, MN 56601, or a charity of the donor's choice.