Betty Drake

Betty Drake, a resident of Safford, entered into eternal rest Thursday evening March 24, 2016, at her residence with her sister, Jo, at her bedside. She was 88.

Betty Sue Drake was born August 22, 1927, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Fred Brill and Elizabeth Riley. Her father died in a tragic accident when Betty was only a baby. Betty’s mother then married Faye Hubbard, who was a cowboy and rancher. Betty became excellent with horses and whenever possible, she would own a horse.

Betty raduated high school in Butte, Montana. Her first job was a telegrapher on the railroad. Betty met and later married James Johnson, a naval officer. To this union were born four daughters. Betty and James later divorced after his retirement. She would then relocate to Longview, Texas. It is here that Betty would work as an executive secretary and where she would meet her second husband, John Drake.

In later years, John would pass away from a heart attack. Betty gathered herself and her belongings and would move to Bakersfield, California, after receiving a great job offer. She would work in an office for an oil company. Betty’s job would come to an end due to a restructuring of the oil company. She would then move to Kansas City, Missouri, to be near her oldest daughter.

In 2005, Betty moved to Safford to live near her sister, Jo di Cecco, owner of Lexington Pines Resort. Betty was an avid bridge player and was unable to sit still. She liked to sing, play the piano and the ukulele. She joined the hospital auxiliary, working at the hospital and making items for the Christmas House each year.

Betty leaves: her beloved cat, “Natasha;” her daughters, Barbara, Jeannette, Bonnie and Jodie; and her sisters, Diana, Barbara and Jo.

Online condolences may be offered at Arrangements were entrusted to Vining Funeral Home.