Betty Jones

Obituary of Betty Jones

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On Wednesday, April 17th, at home where she had wanted to be and surrounded by her cherished family, sweet Betty Saltsman Jones finally met her Lord whom she had fully trusted to carry her through her battle with cholangiocarcinoma.  Although it is an extremely aggressive cancer with a prognosis of less than 6 months, Betty denied treatment and chose to face it with the same courage, determination, strength, and faith with which she had faced every other struggle in her 80 years.  God blessed her with nearly a year and a half more with her family. At the end, Betty fought with everything she had to get through the month of March.  She was determined not to add any more sadness to a month that had claimed her children’s father and grandparents, and Betty managed to achieve her goal plus 17 more days.


Betty was born at her grandmother’s home in Minden on October 19, 1943, the youngest daughter of the late Alton Saltsman and Marion Swartz Saltsman.  She enjoyed telling so many stories of growing up with her friends in Nelliston and attending Fort Plain Central School, graduating in 1961, (she loved that her class ring read 1961 from either direction!). She took great pride in how close her classmates had stayed through the years and looked forward to each reunion and messages shared on Facebook.  After graduation, she attended trade school to operate the teletype at Beech Nut, and she loved to share how she was able to receive news via teletype from a vendor in Dallas on the day of JFK’s assassination.


On August 24, 1963, she married Robert S Jones, and happily began to build the family and home that would be the entire focus of the rest of her life.  Together, she and Bob built the home of their dreams, with plenty of room for their children to run and play.  They planted many trees and flowers, built a garage and workshop where they would work together on many treasures for their grandchildren, raised ducks and chickens, dug a pond she loved, and planted many vegetable gardens.  Betty loved her gardens, and she took great pride in growing food for her family, and anyone else in need.  Through the years, there were also many beloved dogs and cats, most often taken in because they were in need of a home and love.  Betty also enjoyed feeding the wild birds and squirrels, and she had a special love for Sammy, a baby squirrel she had rescued.    


Betty held various jobs to help her family: teletype at Beech Nut, secretary at CJ Burgess, manager of J Baker Shoes in the Ames Department Store, mailroom and installment loan at the former Central National Bank, and cooking meals with love for the ladies at Arkell Hall. Betty enjoyed many trips with the friends she made at Arkell Hall. However, her most favorite place to be was at home, either in her gardens or in her kitchen, with family around as much as possible. She also loved her “Little White Church in Marshville,” (her reworded version of “Little Brown Church in the Vale,” where she taught Sunday School and loved on children for many years.


Betty was a master of shopping with coupons and packed several freezers and shelving units with every bargain she could find, as well as all of the jars of vegetables she had canned from her gardens.  Especially loved were her dill beans.  Betty’s greatest joy was in cooking and baking for everyone she loved and helping them in any way she could, and she had even been known to be cooking for someone who was sick, despite being sick herself.  She wanted to be sure that no one ever went hungry!  Betty delighted in trying new recipes, always hoping to find a new family favorite.  While working in her kitchen, or in the very few times she would actually sit down, Betty also loved to watch old westerns.  Most recently, when she was no longer strong enough to be busy in her kitchen, she enjoyed the ability to stream her favorite shows, like Roy Rogers, Little House on the Prairie, and the Waltons.  


Although Betty fought the cancer with everything in her, she was looking forward to being with her husband in heaven, as well as her grandson, Andrew, and beloved family who have gone before her.  Left to forever miss her sweet presence most of all are her adoring children, Jennifer May (and Kevin), Rebecca Jones-Soodsma (and Steven), and Craig Jones.  She will also be sorely missed by her grandchildren in whom she found so much joy:  Ashley Searles (and Brett), Alyssa May, Alex May, Cora Lee (and Tyler), Jared Soodsma, Dylan Jones, and Daniel Jones; as well as great grandchildren Marley, Kaden, Makenna, Lilyana, Connor, Lorelai, Aurora, Etta, and Jay. 


Betty also leaves behind her cherished sister, Barbara Dannible (and Louis), and brother Skip Vickerson (whose wife, Celia, passed the day before Betty), and her treasured brother-in-law, Alan Jones (and Christine). She was also predeceased by her brother, Bruce Vickerson.  She adored and will be missed by many cherished cousins, to whom she was affectionately known as Betty Boop, as well as her husbands’ cousins that she loved as if they were her own. 


Betty treasured her nieces and nephews, Paula (and Don) Wicksell, Mike (and Janie) Vickerson, Tammy Vickerson, Linda (and Lucas) Oord, Steven Dannible, Charles (and Rob) Jones, and Wesley (and Diane) Jones; as well as her many great and great-great nieces and nephews.  Also left behind is her cousin, Bryan Handy, to whom she was like a second mother, as well as Nana to his son David (and Amber, and daughter, Scarlett). Betty would also want it noted that her sweet niece, Linda Oord, was more like a daughter to her and helped take such good care of her Aunt Betty after her cancer diagnosis and even before.


Betty also leaves behind her partner for the last few years of her life, husband Robert Putnam; and his children Robert Putnam, Jr (and Shelley)., Robin Clark (and Gordon), Becky Hagadorn, the late Gregg Putnam, and Paul Putnam, and too many sweet grandchildren and great grandchildren to name, plus one great-great grandson! Betty and her new Bob took great pride and enjoyment in their huge combined family together, and they loved to sit and enjoy her treasured back yard from the covered porch he had built for her. Betty also leaves behind her beloved dogs of many years, Princess and Bonnie, as well as many stray cats she had cared for.


Betty would also want us to thank Mountain Valley Hospice and acknowledge the wonderful care from Taylor, Megan, and Kathy in her final days.  Most of all, thank you to the many friends and family who faithfully visited and sent cards and messages of encouragement to Betty – she wished she had the strength to visit and send cards in return.  However, Betty was also fiercely independent, and it caused her much anguish to not be the one helping, but the one needing to be helped and encouraged in the end.  


Betty truly lived her life as a fulfillment of Matthew 25:40, “…Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  Her life’s mission was to feed the hungry and take in strays, whether they be people or animals, and she showered love and care on and opened her home to anyone or anything that needed a home.  Betty also treasured her “Little White Church in Marshville,” (her reworded version of “The Little Brown Church in the Vale”) where she taught Sunday School and loved on children for many years.  But most of all, Betty will be remembered for her joy and laughter, her vibrance and zest for life, and her love and kindness to all.


At Betty’s request, there will be no funeral or calling hours.  Her wish was that all would just go on as if she will always be here with us, and that we would carry on her loving care for all in need, especially her sweet stray cats in need of homes. Her wishes for any memorial gifts were to support Feline Guardian Angels, who were a tremendous help to her with strays.  Their address is PO Box 462, Amsterdam, NY 12010; or also dear to her heart was the mission of “Forgotten Friends” on Facebook; and her beloved church of 60 years, Marshville Evangelical Church.  And the very best way to memorialize Betty would be in adopting one of her sweet stray cats, for which she had tried so hard to find loving homes. Family and friends would like to celebrate Betty’s beautiful life at a later date, which will be noted on Betty’s FB page.


Arrangments are under the direction of Houghtaling and Hanley Funeral Home, 20 Otsego Street, Canajoharie, NY 13317.

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Betty Jones

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Betty Jones

1943 - 2024

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