Betty Joan Austin, age 87, of Columbiaville, passed away due to advanced Alzheimer’s and a stroke Monday, July 6, 2020 at home with her family by her side. Betty was born January 21, 1933 in Flint, MI to the late Charles and Juanita (Gallihugh) Clark. At an early age, Betty was taught the violin, to dance and sing. She was invited to Hollywood after winning a radio talent show. She moved to Hollywood and attended Hollywood High School. There she participated in many stage productions and over 1000 USO shows during WWII as well as working for Paramount Studios. Betty played the role of a younger sister in “The Heiress’ (1949) starring Olivia De Havilland. After returning to Michigan, Betty attended Flint Community College. She worked for General Motors for a short time. Then she worked for Citizens Bank where she met the love of her life, Clinton Austin. They were united in married on December 18, 1953 in Flint, MI. After attending EMU with her dear friend Mary Lou LaFond thru and beyond the Masters Degree level Betty became a teacher for Columbiaville Elementary School, where she enjoyed teaching first through third graders for over 30 years. She was very passionate about her specialty, teaching reading. Children who were struggling with reading were often transferred to her class. Betty was very active in many organizations. She attended the Columbiaville United Methodist Church for many years. She was also a member of the Otter Lake Literary Club, the Flint Doll Club, Flint Barbie Club, the Red Hat Dollies, and the Columbiaville Women’s Service League. She enjoyed bowling. She taught dance. She was a Cub Scout and Girl Scout Leader. She was also involved with the 4-H. She enjoyed traveling, especially camping, knitting and she was a wonderful seamstress. She repaired, restored and reconditioned dolls, as well as having her own extensive collection. Betty also taught piano to her grandchildren. She most of all loved spending time with her family.
Betty is survived by: her children, Scott (Partner) Austin of Columbiaville, Brad (Jan Fray) Austin of Columbiaville, and Bonnie Cuttitta of Columbiaville; Stepsons Clint Woodruff of California, and Rick Woodruff; 8 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Betty was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Clinton in 1994, and her son-in-law Richard Cuttitta in 2013. A special thank-you to the Crystal, Terry Lynn, Kim, and Lynn from Grace hospice for the exceptional care you provided our mom.
Family will receive friends on Thursday, July 16th at Jansen Family Funeral Home - Columbiaville from 4 pm to 8 pm. On Friday, July 17th, the family will also receive friends at the Columbiaville Community Center from 12 pm to 2 pm. The funeral service will be at 2 pm with Ann Norton officiating. Betty will be laid to rest next to her husband in Woodlawn Cemetery in Columbiaville. Persons choosing to make a tribute donation may consider the Alzheimer's Association at act.alz.org/donate. Share memories, pictures, and condolences with the family online at www.jansenfuneralhome.com
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