Betty J Callaway

January 6, 1929 ~ July 13, 2021 (age 92)


Betty Jean Callaway, 92, of Ottawa passed away peacefully on Tuesday July, 13th, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. 

Betty’s journey began on January 6th, 1929 when she was born to her loving parent’s Lester and Mary (Rockford) Funk in Ottawa, Illinois. Betty grew up in nearby Wedron, IL but moved with her family to Ottawa, IL. It was in Ottawa where she would attend Ottawa Township High School and eventually meet a young GI whom she would fall in love with and on May 1, 1948 would get married to A. Emerson Callaway, and spend 55 beautiful years with him.

Betty spread 30 years of employment between Ryburn King Hospital and the Community Hospital of Ottawa as a nurses aid. In her free time, Betty loved travel, which she did extensively from coast to coast but most enjoyed her four trips to Europe. Betty was an avid bowler and her health allowed her to continue rolling in to her 80’s and earning induction in to the Ottawa Area Bowler’s Hall-of-Fame. She spent 20 years as a room mother at Lincoln School, Cub Scout Den Leader and loved to knit and needle point. She seldom had idle hands. We will always remember her in the kitchen baking and trying to fill the cookie jar before her children could consume them.

In her 27 years of retirement, Betty stayed active by volunteering at Reruns Thrift Shop for many years. She continued to bowl, travel and go on many shopping adventures with her friends, daughters and granddaughters. Betty carried her quick wit, sarcasm and fiery spirit to her last moments. Betty was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Nancy.

Betty is survived by her six children, Ronald Callaway, Debra (Kim) Besse, Steven (Connie) Callaway, Jason (Michele)Callaway, Jill (Dave) Conrad, Jeffrey (Lisa) Callaway; her 12 grandchildren, Ronnie Lee Callaway, Leslie(Doug)Wisler, Bryon (Meagan) Besse, Tory(Bobby) Sipula, Troy Callaway, Rachel Callaway, Becky Callaway, Abbie (Jason) Kennedy, Natalie Conrad, Scott Conrad, Joshua Callaway and Aaron Callaway; 14 great grandchildren and one on the way; as well as 2 great great grandchildren. 

Visitation will be Sunday, July 18 from 12:00 -3:00 pm at the Ottawa Funeral Home. A funeral ceremony will be held at 3:00 pm after the visitation on Sunday with Rev. Sherry Stevenson officiating. She will be cremated with burial at a later date. Family wishes for you to omit flowers and make donations to the Ottawa Food Pantry in her name.

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