In Her Words
Candid Profiles of Strength Told by the Women of Northbridge
Throughout the month of March, we have collaborated to celebrate Women’s History Month and the rich history of the amazing women living in our communities. Their candid stories are brimming over with love, happiness, passion, family values and the markings of individuals who have truly lived well and loved life.
Elizabeth’s Story (a resident of Seasons of Danvers) told by Elizabeth with the help of her son and daughter.
What is your name?
Elizabeth June Gurley
What are the names of your parents and brothers and sisters?
My parents were Robert & Rhoda and my siblings names are Don, Eugene, Edgar, John, Roy and Sam
How did your parents choose your name? Does it have a special meaning? Did you have any nicknames?
Everyone calls me Betty! My husband always called me Betty June. Unless he was referring to my golf prowess then he called me Betty the Boomer!
When and where were you born?
I was born on June 30th 1919 in Monroe Indiana.
What kinds of things did your family do together when you were young?
I grew up in a tight knit Mennonite community and religion was always very important. We always attended church and I would always love to sing! We were taught to always have fun.
What did you love to do with your friends?
We played all kinds of games, and baseball with my brothers.
What schools did you attend? What were your favorite subjects?
I attending Nursing school at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, IN.
If married, what is/was your husband’s name? How did he propose?
My husband's name was James and he was a Baptist minister.
Her daughter: Jim and Betty were married in the Mennonite Church in Berne Indiana on December 31st 1945. They had dinner at Betty’s parents home and then they were sent off to their new apartment with a few provisions, their bed linens and their gifts. When they awoke the next morning, they had tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, as all of the restaurants were closed after a busy New Year’s Eve. Jim listened to the football game on the radio and Betty settled them in.
What are your children’s names?
Janet, Joan, Jamie and John
What are some special memories you have of your children?
I loved having girls because I grew up with 6 brothers so they became like sisters to me.
Her daughter: She loved getting them dressed up, curling their hair, bringing them to church and taking care of them.
Where have you lived?
Berne IN, Elkart IN, Jackson MI, Wheaton IL, Davison, MI, Ann Arbor MI, Beverly MA, Danvers MA.
Have you had jobs? Who did you work for?
I worked as a Registered Nurse in the post surgical recovery room, and as a hospice nurse.
What are your hidden talents?
Her son: She is an amazing singer and used to be an avid knitter, quilter and golfer.
What did you do to get through the difficult times in your life?
Always try to keep a cheerful attitude, even when things are not good because things are not going to be good all the time.
Do you have holiday traditions? What do you do for the holidays?
Christmas was always special. The women did the cooking, the men played with the kids and then we all ate together.
What are some of your favorite things?
Color-blue because my eyes are blue
Food- I’m very fond of sweets even though they’re not very healthy but I like it!
Song- I love church hymns. According to her Seasons family you can often hear Elizabeth singing “Come to the fair” while walking around!
What are your favorite things to do now?
I love to be outside
What do you hope for your children and grandchildren?
I hope for their good health most of all and to grow up Christian, understanding what God is telling us to do and to be.
What is your biggest piece of advice?
The most important part of life is to love and care for others in need and be thankful for the good things. Love yourself first then love others and always try to notice when they need help.
Sum your personality up in one word...
For more information about the wonderful way of life at Seasons of Danvers, click here.