- About Us
Mrs. Mary Elizabeth "Betty" (Eckenrode) Williams, 101, formerly of Wilkes-Barre and Mountain Top, passed in peace on December 6, 2018, in Boulder, Colorado, where she has lived since 1998 with her daughter and son-in-law.
Born in Wilkes-Barre on February 25, 1917, Betty was the youngest daughter of the late George A. and Mary Anna (Greenfield) Eckenrode. Raised among many siblings in a Park Avenue home built by her father, she attended the former St. Nicholas High School and was the last surviving member of the class of 1935. Betty went on to earn her teaching degree at College Misericordia, graduating with magna cum laude honors in 1939.
Following her formal education, Betty completed her student teaching at the former Edwardsville High School, where she subsequently became a full-time teacher of English and business. It was there she met her future husband, Jimmy, a fellow teacher and football coach. During World War II, she moved to Washington, D.C., working for several federal agencies as an office manager and secretarie extraordinaire. On January 30, 1943, she married the newly commissioned 2nd Lt. James H. Williams at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Washington, and followed him by train to his station in the high desert of Mountain Home, ID, where a new Army Air Corps base was under construction.
Upon the couple's return to Wyoming Valley, the family resided on South Washington St., where Betty was active in parish activities at St. Nicholas Church and school. In the 1960s, she returned to the classroom, teaching business courses and special education classes. After the devastation of Hurricane Agnes in 1972, Betty was hired by the Small Business Administration, where she resumed management for the local office established to aid community residents and businesses in flood recovery.
Betty is remembered by those who knew and loved her, including her daughter and granddaughters, ten step-grandchildren and twenty-two step-great grandchildren, as a quietly witty and fun-loving soul who was unassuming, thoughtful, and generous. She loved writing poetry, reading good books, and baking fabulous desserts and Christmas cookies. She also spent many hours playing cards with family and friends, usually winning. In retirement, Betty traveled often with her husband, visiting Hawaii, Florida, Alaska, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Mexico, Wales, England, Italy, and many national parks and landmarks.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years [April 25, 2001] and her oldest daughter Dr. Elizabeth Anne (Betty) Williams [December 4, 1998], as well as her brothers and sisters: Donald, Dorothy, Harold, Raymond, Edgar (Jim), Jane, and Carl Eckenrode.
Betty is survived and will be greatly missed by her daughter, Jane Williams Greenfield of Boulder (husband - Jim); granddaughters, Dr. Christine M. Stone (husband - Bert) and Dr. Kathryn E. Caggiano (husband - Steve); and a number of nieces, nephews, and dear friends in Pennsylvania and Colorado.
Funeral services for Mrs. Williams will be conducted on Saturday, December 15th, with a Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m. in St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church, 226 South Washington Street, Wilkes-Barre. The Reverend Joseph D. Verespy, pastor, will serve as celebrant and homilist. Interment with the Rite of Committal will follow in the parish cemetery, Pioneer Avenue, Shavertown section of Kingston Township.
Relatives and friends may join Mrs. Williams' family for visitation and remembrances directly at the church from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services.
Saint Nicholas - Saint Mary's School
226 South Washington Street, Wilkes-Barre PA 18702