Obituaries » Betty Griffen Wilmarth

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Betty Griffen Wilmarth

October 30, 1921 - April 6, 2018

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Betty was born October 30, 1921 in Wright County, Iowa, and completed her work here on April 6, 2018.

She was raised on Oak Ridge Farm near Belmond, Iowa and graduated from Belmond High School. She married Forrest Griffen in 1939 moving to Ferriday, La. in 1942.  She and Forrest lived in Ferriday, Baker and settled in Benton in 1965.  They had four children.  Dean, Dayle, Fred and Betty Lou.  In 1977 Forrest went to be with the Lord while serving as the mayor of Benton.  Tragically, Betty Lou passed away in 1984 leaving her eleven year old son Randy without a parent.  At the age of 61 Betty took on the responsibility of raising Randy and they had a wonderful 35 year relationship.

A lifelong Methodist Betty served her church faithfully in each community she lived. In the Benton United Methodist Church she played the piano and organ for church service, taught Sunday School, and served gracefully on many committees.  On a state level she held the office of Secretary of Spiritual Growth in the Baton Rouge and Shreveport districts.

She loved the piano and shared that gift with many children. She taught piano for the Concordia and East Baton Rouge Parish school boards before moving to Benton where she continued teaching from her home.

She spent many years with the Bossier Parish School System as a secretary to the Superintendent of the system, a job she loved dearly. Her gentle Christian influence on the people with whom she interacted was a blessing for them all.

In 2003, she married lifelong widowed friend Charles Wilmarth. It was a beautiful friendship providing comfort and companionship to both.  Charles and his first wife Ruth had purchased Oak Ridge from Betty’s parents and had spent their life farming the land in the home Betty was raised in.

Betty is preceded in death by her parents, Andy and Bessie Lieuwen; husbands, Forrest Griffen and Charles Wilmarth; daughter, Betty Lou Horwatt; grandchildren, Brian Martin and Kristina Griffen; sisters, Lillian and Jean Lieuwen, brother, Leland Lieuwen and his wife Nina; brother-in-law, Durwood Griffen, his wife Doris, and their son Johnny; beloved grandmother, Jenny Lieuwen and infant great-great grandchild Charlotte Nicoll.

She is survived by her children, Dr. F. Dean (Carolyn) Griffen, Dayle Taylor and Fred (Mary Dox) Griffen; grandchildren, Shelly (Christian) Valiulis, Suzanne (Skott)Rogers, Forrest (Katherine) Griffen, Dr. Lauren (Dr. Dan) Ruane, Anders (Emily) Griffen, Randy (Erin) Martin and Fred (Brigid) Taylor; great grandchildren, Lily, Griffen and Charles Valiulis, Ben and Griffen Rogers, Drew and Reed Martin, Ash Griffen, Everett Griffen, Drew Nicoll, Camren, Sophia and Luke Taylor; great-great grandchild, Saige Nicoll; Stepchildren, Dr. Sue Wilmarth, Lee (Paula) Wilmarth; step-grandchildren. Beth (Paul) Theede; step-great grandchildren, Avery, Madelyn and Andrew Theede, Dr. Melissa Wilmarth and Kevin Wilmarth.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at Rose-Neath Bossier Chapel. Interment will follow at Forest Park Cemetery in Shreveport. Visitation will be at the funeral home on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 from 5-6:30 p.m.

Granny respectfully requested that any memorials be made to the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home.

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