Betty Jane Cooperider passed away January 23, 2012, at the Walnut Creek Nursing Center of Kettering, Ohio. She was born on November 30, 1924, to the late Leslie & Mabel Grove of Newark. In addition to her parents, Betty was preceded in death by her brother, Frank Grove; and Bandit, her most faithful four-legged companion.
Betty spent most of her life living in Hebron and Newark. The past 14 years she lived in Dayton. She is survived by her two daughters, Patty Underwood and Pam Conner; four grandchildren, John Underwood, Valerie (Gary) Mockus, Heather Fox, and Robert Collier; eight great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren.
Her early years were spent traveling with her family on the circus and county fair circuits to provide stage lighting. She got to know many of the acts personally and was even hired to be a “screamer” for one of the high diving acts. She was the first in her family to graduate from high school, an achievement she valued highly. She went on to work in the B&O Railroad office in Newark and in 1987 retired from the US Postal Service in Hebron. She took great pride in knowing everyone on a first name basis and providing excellent customer service.
Perhaps she is best known for the years she served her beloved public at the Buckeye. The Buckeye Diner at corner of U.S. 40 and Ohio 79 was a respite for travelers, locals and many a state trooper for years. Betty enjoyed practical jokes and would place plastic worms in the coffee of many unsuspecting troopers. In return, they eventually guided her thru the difficult task of passing her driving test even though they never quite convinced her that a “Y” street sign did not refer solely to the “Y” Bridge in Zanesville.
When she finally retired, she took up ceramics and going on trips. She rarely knew where she was going but claimed she could always find her way home. She loved everyone, never met a stranger and adopted many a stray character. She was quick to give anyone a piece of her mind and just as quick to open her home to someone who needed a place to stay. Perhaps this is the reason she was best known as “Ma Betty” to so many for so long.
Age was but a number to Betty. She was an eternal kid at heart and usually related best to the younger generation. She learned to eat spinach from one of her younger friends, served as the licensed driver for several teens as they practiced their driving at Dillon State Park, led the Girl Scouts on a hiking trip they would never forget, and always had the game table up for anyone who wanted to work a jigsaw puzzle or play a round of Scrabble. She provided a safe and loving hangout for many a kid growing up in Hebron.
The love we all feel for Betty can be summed up in a short poem written for her many years ago. “This is to the one I love; she’ll not go to “Hell” if there is room up above.”
Services will be held at the Hebron home of The Hoskinson- Schoedinger Funeral Home, 108 N. 7th Street, Hebron. Viewings will be on Thursday evening from 6-8PM and Friday morning from 9-10AM with a Celebration of Life Service immediately following.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be sent to Best Friends Animal Society at www.bestfriends.org <http://www.bestfriends.org> or mailed to Best Friends Animal Society, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, Utah