JOHNSON Bettie Louise
Bettie Louise (Archer) Johnson, age 94, passed away peacefully with her two sons nearby on Thursday, August 10, 2017, after having suffered a fall. Bettie was born in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, on May 31, 1923, to Charles Beale Archer and S. Irene (Hilton) Archer. Raised in Pontiac, Michigan, Bettie graduated from Pontiac High School and went to work for Michigan Bell. Against her father’s wishes, she and three friends joined the Navy in 1943 because (in her own words), “They had the best-looking uniforms.” She was told by her managers that she would never be able to return to work for them, but after serving two years in New York City as an operator in the Navy WAVES, she did return to Michigan Bell, where she worked for 40 years with perfect attendance.
Bettie married John Rodney Johnson on November 2, 1946, at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pontiac. John worked for Poole Dickey Lumber in Pontiac, and passed away in 1969. Bettie’s older son, Rod Johnson, and his wife, Pamela Reister, are the parents of Bettie’s grandson, Griffin, and granddaughter, Willa. Bettie’s younger son is Dane Archer Johnson. Bettie was always so proud to say that Rod is a professor at the University of Michigan and Dane is a professor at Ferris State University.
She did not live to see 100, as she hoped she would, but at 94 she was still vital and engaged, and faced each day with surprising vigor and style. As a mom, grandmother, wife, sister, aunt, business woman, fashion model, and WWII veteran, she lived a rich life and was a role model to countless young women.
She would have celebrated fifty years of very active membership in the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) on September 13, 2017. She started as a member of the Waterford Charter Chapter in 1967, and founded the Novi Oaks Charter Chapter of ABWA on January 29, 1990. She shared the experience of ABWA with 66 other women, including her nieces, Marcia (Rayner) Green, Jamie Schutt, and Jill (Schutt) Nancekivell. Over the years, she attended almost 100 conferences and conventions, and was honored as the “Woman of the Decade” by the Novi Oaks Charter Chapter in 2000. One of her favorite memories in ABWA was serving as the Chairman of ABWA’s national conference for just over 4,000 women, which was held at Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit in October of 1984, the week the Tigers won the World Series. She loved everything about ABWA, especially raising scholarship funds to help other women reach their goals.
In addition to her involvement in ABWA, Bettie was an active member of WAVES National for many years. She was the local representative for the Women’s Memorial at Arlington Cemetery, and served on the board of the Great Lakes National Cemetery for over ten years.
Bettie was predeceased by her parents and her older brother, Charles Galbraith Archer (Beverly), younger sister, Emma Gene (Archer) Rayner (Albert), and two sisters-in-law and their husbands, Joyce Schutt (Milton), and Fran Hudson (Les).
Bettie is survived by her youngest sister, Anna Mae (Archer) Venos. Left to treasure memories of Bettie are dear friend, Chuck Snelling, whom she loved as a son, and many nieces and nephews. Her long and dynamic life is now celebrated by her loving family and many, many friends.
Family members request that memorial donations be made to the national ABWA Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund, located at www.sbmef.org (click on the “Make a Contribution” picture on the right of the screen), or send a check via mail to the following address:
Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund,
c/o American Business Women's Association,
9820 Metcalf Ave, Ste 110,
Overland Park KS 66212
All donations to the SBMEF are tax deductible.