Bloomington – Betty J. Keough, 95, of Bloomington, passed away at 2:58 p.m. on Friday, November 19, 2021 at Martin Health Center in Bloomington.
Her memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 11, 2021 at Second Pres Church South Entrance in Bloomington, Illinois. Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service at the church. Kibler-Brady-Ruestman Memorial Home in Bloomington, Illinois is assisting the family with arrangements.
Interment will be in Funks Grove Cemetery in Mclean, Illinois. Memorial contributions may be left to the Betty Keough Scholarship Fund, through the Illinois State University Foundation, or to the JWP Audubon Society, Human Society of Central Illinois, or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Betty was born on January 1, 1926, in Indianapolis, Indiana, a daughter to William and Maude Keough.
She is survived by her sister-in-law, Anna (Robert) Keough; nieces, Sandra Keough Murray and Lisa Keough Harrington; nephews, Larry Keough, Gary (Debbie) Keough, Michael (Dianna) Keough, and James (Christine) Keough; great-nieces, Veronica Martin, Naline (Nolan) Keough Thomas, Jessalyn Harrington, and Emily Harrington Derheimer; great-nephews, Alan (Danielle) Keough, Joshua Murray, and Jameson Keough; and great-great niece, Sage Thomas.
Preceding her in death were her parents, William F. Keough and Maude Duncan Keough, brothers, William and Robert, and aunt, Ruth Ann Whittaker.
Betty lived in Indianapolis during her childhood and youth, attending Arsenal Technical High School. She graduated from Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1948 (cum laude) with a B.S. degree. In 1952, she received an M.S. degree from Illinois State University and was awarded a PhD degree from the University of Iowa in 1962.
From 1948-51, she taught health and physical education at the junior/senior high school level in Washington, Indiana. Betty came to Bloomington-Normal in 1952, where she served as a graduate assistant at Illinois State University. From 1953-55, she taught elementary and junior high school physical education at the Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Children’s Home. Betty was a faculty member at Illinois State University from 1955 until her retirement in 1985.
During this thirty-year period, she taught physical education at Metcalf School and was the department chair. At ISU, Betty taught physical education, served as Coordinator of Student Teaching in Health, Physical Education and Recreation, and became the Director of the physical education program. She was acting chair of the department the year before her retirement.
At the time of her retirement, the Betty Keough Endowed Scholarship was established by professional colleagues, family members, and friends. This scholarship is awarded annually to a junior and senior female physical education major at ISU. Growth of the endowment allows the scholarship to continue to be awarded.
Betty was involved in many professional activities and organizations. She served as president, treasurer, and parliamentarian of the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. She was president of the Illinois Association for several years as a curriculum consultant for the Illinois State Board of Education. She also held many positions in the National Association for Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. In 2009, Betty was inducted into the inaugural Hall of Fame, College of Applied Science and Technology, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois.
On the community level, Betty was actively involved in the JWP Audubon Society and served as treasurer for many years. She was also the Audubon Adventures School Program Coordinator. In May of 2000, Betty was presented a lifetime achievement award by JWP Audubon for leadership in conservation ecology. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma and served as president for several terms.
Betty, known to many as “Bets,” was an enthusiastic and competent birder, and active in many environmental projects in the community. She was an active and avid supporter of women’s athletics, both at the university and public school level. She was a devoted walker and could be found many mornings with friends, walking the mall, the Constitution Trail, or at White Oak Park. Betty loved the outdoors, particularly landscaping and caring for a variety of flowers at her home in Rustic Acres.
Betty was enthusiastic about life and an avid optimist. Her infectious smile and friendliness endeared her to family and her many friends. She enjoyed many summers on Red Cedar Lake in Wisconsin where she owned a lake home with several friends. Boating, golfing, walking, and fishing were summer pastimes and cross-county skiing in winter.
She spent several months in the winter, in Manasota Key, Florida, provided sunning and walking on the beach, enjoying the warm weather and good times with friends. The loves of her life were five miniature schnauzers (one at a time) who provided a great deal of fun and companionship.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Martin Health Center and the Hospice staff at Carle BroMenn Medical Center for the wonderful care they provided Betty.
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