Venzke, Betty Jane Talley

Passed: September 09, 2011

Venzke, Betty Jane Talley

Passed: September 09, 2011


After a full and blessed  life of 93 years, Betty Talley Venzke passed away on September 9, 2011,  in Litchfield Park, Arizona.  Born June 20, 1918, in Rogers, Arkansas to Willis Edward and Byrd Mae Talley, Betty Jane was the youngest of six children.  At the age of four, her family moved to Carthage, Missouri, where she graduated from Carthage High School in 1938.  She worked in Carthage and in Tulsa, before joining the Women’s Army Corps (WACS) in 1944.  After basic training in Georgia, she was assigned duty in Chickasha, Oklahoma, where she met the love of her life, Kenneth Venzke.  They were married at Borden Memorial Hospital in Chickasha in November, 1945.  After a brief spell in Baltimore, they moved to Tonkawa, Oklahoma where Ken attended Northern Oklahoma Junior College followed by a move to Stillwater, Oklahoma, where both attended Oklahoma A & M (now Oklahoma State University).  In 1951, they moved to Ponca City, Oklahoma, where they lived until moving to Litchfield Park, Arizona in 1999.

Betty was an active volunteer throughout her married life, with activities at the First Presbyterian Church, Washington Elementary School PTA, St Joseph Hospital Auxiliary, Garden Club, and the Opportunity Center.  She loved her garden and playing bridge.

She was preceded in death by her husband Ken, and her three brothers and two sisters.  She is survived by her children: Ken Venzke and wife Elli Hall, Portland OR; Jane Venzke Sparks and husband David, Litchfield Park, AZ; Ann Venzke, Avondale, AZ; and five grandchildren: Dan Venzke, Charles Venzke, Clay Sparks, Tyler Sparks, and Jenna Sparks.

A private memorial service will be held November 18 (on what would have been Betty and Ken’s 66th wedding anniversary), followed by a gathering of family and friends to celebrate her life.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Opportunity Center Foundation, 2225 N Union, Ponca City OK 74601 or The Church at Litchfield Park, 300 N Old Litchfield Rd., Litchfield Park, AZ 85340.

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Thompson Funeral Chapel