Betty Jean (Shehan) Seley, daughter of J. Walter and Beatrice Wood Shehan, was born October 29, 1923, in Peoria, Illinois. She passed away on Monday, May 31, 2021, at the Mercy Hospice House in Johnston, at the age of 97.
At a young age, Betty went to live with her great aunt and uncle, Myra Shehan Rice and Benjamin Rice in Dunlap, Illinois. When Betty was five years old, the Rice family moved back to their farmstead one mile east of Greenfield. Betty moved to Greenfield with them and started to attend school in Greenfield and graduated with the Class of 1941.
On May 23, 1941, Betty was married to Wilbur B. Seley at the Methodist parsonage in Albany, Missouri. Betty and Wilbur lived on a farm south of Fontanelle until Wilbur was called to serve his country. At that time, Betty moved back to live with the Rices.
Three children were born to this union: Virginia Kay, Linda Jean and Charles (Chuck) Walter. During the time that Wilbur was serving his country, Betty and Virginia lived at the Rices and also in Peoria, Illinois, where Betty worked at the Hart Carter factory making 57 mm shells for the military.
Upon Wilbur’s return from service, they purchased a farm seven miles north of Greenfield. They lived there 31 years before moving into Greenfield in 1978.
Betty went to work in Des Moines at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa and retired 19 years later.
Betty and Wilbur loved to camp, fish, dance, bowl and most of all travel. After retirement, they spent their winters in Arizona for 14 years. When Wilbur’s health failed in 1999, they returned home to Greenfield. After 59 years of marriage, Wilbur passed away on June 22, 2000.
Betty continued to go to Arizona for the winter. She continued to travel, making two military trips to Europe, one to Ireland, and one to Italy with her family. She spent many happy times in Peoria with her family.
Betty was preceded in death by her loving husband, infant brother Walter, brothers Bill and Larry Craig, parents and grandparents, Wilbur’s parents and the Rices, whom she loved as parents, sister Pat Schafts, sisters-in-law Jenny Martin, Alta Kordick, Marge Seley and Treva Taylor.
Betty is survived by her three children, Virginia (Jake) Hitt of Greenfield, Linda Hess of Waukee and Chuck Seley of Urbandale; seven grandchildren: Debra Lundy, Cynthia (David) Hennigar, Brian (Christy) Lundy, Jay (Eva) Hess and Laura Hess, Michael (Janelle) Hitt and James Hitt; twelve great grandchildren: Tori (Randy) Randall, Beth, Ted (Tawnee) Lundy, Cami Edwards, Jessica and Tyler Hennigar, Maddison Hess, Vegas Johnston, Ronyn Johnston, Alison, Mackenzie and Andrew Hitt; two sisters, Jacqueline Cox of Dunlap, Illinois, and Judy (Steve) Bell of Morton, Illinois; sisters-in-law, Elaine Craig of Peoria Illinois and Charlotte Craig of Foley, Alabama; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Private family services were held at Steen Funeral Home in Greenfield. Online condolences may be left to the family at www.steenfunerals.com.