Elizabeth “Betty” Annette Burcham, 94, of Decatur, IL died peacefully at home in her sleep on Friday (Sept. 6, 2013).
Betty was born on Oct. 29, 1918 in Philadelphia, PA the daughter of John Elmer Wheeler and Sarah Jane Kennedy Wheeler. She married Russell Aldo Burcham on Nov. 16, 1946 and preceded her in death on July 6, 2001.
Betty came to Long Creek Township with her mother, to the home of her father’s parents, when she was less than one month old. She lived in Decatur and the Long Creek area the rest of her life.
Betty graduated from Mt. Zion High School and was elected valedictorian of her class. She then attended Millikin University on a full scholarship. She worked for the National Youth Administration in Decatur and helped close the office in Indianapolis, IN. Betty also worked for the Army Emergency Relief Office at Chanute Field in Rantoul. Other jobs included working for the Garfield Division of Hondville-Hershey Corp., and the Illinois Bearing Company. Her last position was secretary for the First Congregational Church in Decatur where she retired after 28 years of service.
Betty was an avid reader, and instilled the value of education in everyone around her.
Betty is survived by granddaughters Erin Buxton (husband, Adam) of Decatur, IL; Abby DeLong of Decatur, IL; one son-in-law, Larry DeLong of Decatur, IL; and great-grandchildren, Grace and Brooks Buxton, and Theo DeLong and Iyonna Johnson.
Betty was proceeded in death by her parents, husband, daughter Sarah E. DeLong, two sisters and two brothers.
Obituary written by family members.