Betty Secoy

Betty Secoy

Betty Secoy

Betty Lou Walden Danner Secoy passed from this life just before noon on Saturday, 11 June 2016, while a patient in Hospice Care at Marietta Memorial Hospital (Ohio), due to complications resulting from a diagnosis of cancer just barely two months before.
She died peacefully in the presence of her two sons, David Kelly Danner and Jeffrey Walden Danner, both now of Marietta.
She was less than two months shy of her 83rd birthday. Betty was born on 8 August 1933 at old Lock and Dam 32 on the Ohio River in Lewis County near the small river town of Vanceburg.  Her parents were Woodie Walden, Jr. and Correne Barbour Walden.
Woodie was the lockmaster at this time, and Betty would often proclaim with a twinkle in her eye that she was a “Dam Brat.” – That she was!
She was named Miss Lewis County in her freshman year at Lewis County/Vanceburg High School, and graduated from there in 1951. She attended Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, and subsequently married Ted Eastwood Danner, also from Vanceburg and a graduate of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, while also being an officer in the United States Navy.
While they were together, they had their two sons, David and Jeff, who were both born in Maysville, also on the Ohio River, and where the family had settled.
Ted died in 1986. Due to the family situation, Betty ended up raising her two boys on her own, beginning when they were both at a very young age.  She worked several jobs to do this, most notably at the Maysville Chamber of Commerce, and also as the Draft Board Clerk for the Selective Service in the late 60’s and early 70’s, during those turbulent years of the Vietnam War.
When the US involvement in the War ended in 1973, Betty moved with her sons to Marietta, Ohio (also on the Ohio River!), where she began work as Navigation Specialist at the nearby Willow Island Locks and Dam, one of the bigger, modern dams. Thus, her life had come full circle, for her father had ended his career as the first lockmaster at the comparably modern Meldahl Locks and Dam, just upriver from Cincinnati, Ohio.
His service with the US Army Corps of Engineers (Huntington District) had become almost legendary (a boat was named after him), and now Betty was continuing that tradition. With others who had also worked on the river, they could all collectively be called a “Dam Family.” Betty retired from the Corps in March 1999.
In retirement, Betty could enjoy many of her passions including cooking (if you never had her baked beans or cornbread, then you haven’t lived!), and many hands of bridge, including the Tuesday sessions at the O’Neill Senior Center in Marietta. She was known as a classy dresser, and continued to play tennis with her two sons through November 2015.  She enjoyed dancing and broadway and big band music, along with other genres.  She remained “True Blue” to Kentucky basketball, in spite of being in Buckeye country for nearly the last 43 years of her life.
One could very often find her on the phone or computer, chatting with friends, or sending a card or note to someone for happy times and sad.
She was truly loved by MANY people, as evidenced by the overwhelming response of prayerful support (Thanks to all!) during her last, trying weeks, and this love was reciprocated by her.
To say that she was a “People Person” is an understatement! Betty was baptized in the Christian Church (Instrumental), and was a member for most of her adult life of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She was active in many ways within her local congregation, including the monthly financial reports, as well as outreach recognition events to local groups who are often unsung heroes locally, such as the police, firemen, children’s services, etc.
If one needed honest feedback, she’d give it.
Betty was preceded in death, not only by her sons’ father Ted, but also by her parents, her older brother James Kelly Walden, and her last husband, Gordon D. Secoy.
In addition to her two sons, she is also survived by her younger brother, the Rev. Dr. Bradley Nelson Walden and his wife, Barbara Greer Walden, both of Lexington, nephews (James’ sons) Thomas K. Walden of Virginia and Michael W. Walden of North Carolina, along with Brad’s children, nephew, Mark Stephen Walden of Ohio; and niece, Beth Walden Lee of Kentucky.  There are also many grand nephews, grand nieces and many loving friends, both near and far; most have kept in touch with Betty for years!
Betty’s sons would like to thank publicly Dr. Kelli Cawley of the Strecker Cancer Center of Marietta Memorial Hospital, for her gentle yet firm guidance during these last dreadful weeks in combat with their Mom’s cancer, along with all of the other doctors, nurses, & staff who, in their unheralded roles, played a huge part in helping their Mom cope with a very painful situation, and to comfort her as the days and then hours drew nigh.  Also of MMH, Dr. Richard Hershey’s consultations and many years of attention to Betty were invaluable.
They would also like to express gratitude to Dr. Curtis Dehmlow, Betty’s primary physician for nearly 43 years, for his loving & expert care, which allowed their Mom to age so gracefully, and deceived people into thinking that Betty was her sons’ sister – or wife!
Arrangements have been made through Cawley and Peoples Funeral Home, 408 Front St., Marietta, OH 45750, with Website www.CawleyandPeoples.com.
One may leave electronic condolences there.  Visitations will be on Friday, 17 June 2016, at the funeral home from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
There will also be a brief visitation at Central Christian Church (807 Colegate Dr. – Marietta) on Saturday, 18 June 2016, from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m., followed immediately at 11:00 a.m. by services at the Church with the Rev. Janice Hill presiding.
En lieu de flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the O’Neill Senior Center (333 4th St. – Marietta, OH 45750) and/or Central Christian Church (see above address) for special Church outreach/mission programs.
After all of the above rituals have taken place, Betty’s remains will then be cremated. Her sons plan to sprinkle some of her ashes into the Ohio River at significant places in Betty’s life. The rest of her cremains will be laid to rest in the Cemetery at Richmond (Home of EKU) where her paternal grandparents already lie. This will probably take place on Saturday, 6 August 2016, with the time to be determined.
The eco-friendly urn that will be used will eventually dissolve, allowing her ashes to be absorbed back into the sacred soil of Kentucky, whose daughter she is.
If “Love is the fulfillment of the Law,” (Romans 13:10b), then Betty’s life exemplifies such fulfillment. – Amen.