Betty May Finley entered into eternal rest on Friday, June 18, 2010, at Integris Baptist Regional Health Center in Miami.
She was born on May 4, 1927, in Miami to her parents, William & Bessie Edwards. She graduated from Miami High School in 1945. The oldest of the three Edwards’ children, Betty married Johney L. Finley Junior, of Quapaw on August 4, 1946 in Columbus, Kansas.
Even with all of the responsibilities of a dedicated wife and mother, she returned to college and obtained degrees from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in 1956 and Pittsburg State University in 1965. Her teaching career began in a one room school in Jarrett, Kansas in 1959. The following year she taught at Baxter Springs, Kansas. In 1961, she became one of two teachers in Melrose, Kansas for four years. She joined the Miami Public Schools in 1965 and taught a variety of subjects until her retirement in 1989. She and her husband were both active in the Democratic Party in Ottawa County and statewide. In 1972, she served on the Oklahoma delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida. In her tireless desire to help others, she completed her Certified Nurse’s Assistant certification in the middle 1990s and worked for Oxford Health Care of Joplin on two separate occasions.
Survivors include her two sons, Johney L. Finley III and his wife, Carolyn, of Miami, William Finley of Grand Junction, Colorado, her daughter, Debbie Glasman and her husband, Mike, of Miami, her son-in-law, Robert Graham of Miami, her sister, Faye Donaldson and her husband, Don, of Weatherford, Texas and her great aunt, Francis Kryzinski of Cleburne, Texas.
She was lovingly known by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren as “Nonnie.” Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren include, Gavin Finley and his wife, Tiffney, of Dallas, Texas and their children, Teagan, Zoey, and Hudson, Haley Zodrow and her husband, Joey, of Miami and their children, Joseph, Sarah, and John Hollis, Jennie Butterfield and her husband, Adam, of Bartlesville and their children, Mallory and Addison, Jana Melton and her husband, Josh, of Miami and their children, Hannah and Christopher, Kimi Witten and her husband, Kade, of Miami, Katie Finley and her daughter, Isabella, of Grand Junction, Colorado, and Jason Graham and his wife, Diane, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and their children, Andrew and David.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Bill, her husband of 57 years, and her daughter, Susan Graham.
Funeral services are under the direction of the Jim Thomas Funeral Home of Welch. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 22 from 6 to 8 PM at the Paul Thomas Funeral Home in Miami. A memorial mass will be held on Wednesday, June 23 at 10 AM at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Miami with Father Carl Kerkemeyer presiding. Burial will follow at G.A.R. Cemetery in Miami.
Pallbearers will be Adam Butterfield, Carey Duniphin, Gavin Finley, Josh Melton, Kade Witten, and Joey Zodrow.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her honor to the Animal Welfare Society in Miami.