- Published: April 17, 2008
Betty Jean Bernat O’Connor R.N., B.S.N., died March 21, Good Friday evening. She was a graduate of St. Xavier School of Nursing and the University of Illinois, where she studied both nursing and theater, and worked as a nurse in pediatrics/critical care in Chicago and Los Angeles. She would spend summers at Interlochen Arts camp, first as a nurse, then as a costume producer. She was a patroness of the arts, especially dance, and valued reading, education and all children.
Betty lived in Yellow Springs for several years in the late 80s, moving here to help care for her grandchildren while their mother went to medical school. She was Grandma Betty Boop to a number of Yellow Springs kids at the time. She continued to work as a nurse here, including at Friends Care Center. She enjoyed the life and arts of Yellow Springs, and followed the News from Yellow Spring avidly after moving back to Chicago.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Marty O’Connor; her parents, Steve and Mary Bernat; her family, Nancy Bernat O’Connor, Tom O’Connor, and Thomas Bernat, M.D.; and many friends, including Micki Adams.
She is survived by her sister-in-law Joan Bernat; aunt Betty O’Shea; her children and their spouses, Thaddene Triplett MD., and R. Michael Triplett, Monika and Michael Hillis, Daniel and Elena Iannucci O’Connor, Martin and Vickie Neubeck O’Connor, Mary Andrea and Jeff Neal, Mary Deirdre and James Hussey, Kieran and Ehlane O’Connor, Jeremiah O’Connor and Ginger Odom, as well as many Bernat/O’Connor nieces and nephews.
Her great pleasures in life were her grandchildren, Chris, Nick, Claire Mary and Katie Triplett, Marty D. and Paul O’Connor, Jeffrey and Noelle Neal, Kerry and Michaela Hillis, Odessa Cody, and her latest twins, Trey and Sean Hussey; and her cats and her garden.
In her honor, work for peace and justice, enjoy the arts, conserve natural areas and wildlife and contribute to a charity of your choice. Her favorite were classical music stations; Interlochen Arts Center, Interlochen, Mich.; and the Antioch School, Yellow Springs.