Betty Jean WaldronApril 14, 1930 ~ January 2, 2018 (age 87)
Betty Jean was born in Elizabeth, NJ on April 14, 1930 - Elizabeth Jean Knoss to her parents Albert F. and Anna Eureka Knoss. The family moved 5 times before she turned 12 as her father stayed working as a chemical engineer. She became very good at making friends each time she moved. They finally settled in Plainfield, NJ in their first home.
She had a sister, Eleanor who was 5 years older and had Little’s disease and died in 1931. The family took numerous vacations camping to Lake George in NY and Delaware Water Gap.
She was still in contact with many of her treasured childhood friends scattered all around the country up until her last days.
She attended Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC. She traveled overnight by train from NJ, changing trains in Washington, DC to get home.
After college, she got a job with the New York telephone company in NYC. After that, she worked for Bell Telephone Labs in Murray Hill, NJ where Bardeen and Shockley invented the transistor. This was not as exciting as NYC but interesting.
April 1953 she had a blind date with Ed Waldron. It was a short courtship and they were married in April 1954. He commuted and worked in NYC.
Michelle came along in June of 1955. They bought their first home in Red Bank, NJ. Betty Jean was an only child and didn’t want Michelle to be an only child so they decided to adopt a baby. And so Peter Martin came into the family when he was 7 weeks old in November 1959. It was a most happy occasion.
Ed’s company was sold and so Rex Chainbelt offered him a job in Milwaukee. They moved to Milwaukee Avenue in Wauwatosa. They had wonderful neighbors. Car trips were made in the summer to see relatives at the Jersey shore.
Betty Jean joined and was active in many organizations. Wauwatosa Junior Women’s Club, Herb Society of America, She co-founded and was President of The Heritage Garden Club and later Circa Antique Club. She was also in charge of the Lowell Damon House and had it decorated and re-landscaped. She was also a Girl Scout leader.
She became a realtor in the late 1960’s and worked for Head and Seemann Realty and later Federated Realty. She worked very hard and had some good years as a top sales agent. Her first weekend in real estate she sold 5 houses. Not all weekends were like that one.
They moved to Elm Grove in 1983. They enjoyed their time there but missed the neighborhood life on Milwaukee Avenue. Betty Jean was still welcomed every year to the 4th of July parade where the “Milwaukee Avenue Parade Watchers” all gathered to enjoy the morning of the parade.
Betty Jean and Ed had many travels to different parts of the world. One memorable trip was to visit the Waldron family ancestral town in Ballyhaunis, Ireland.
They made many good friends wintering in Sarasota. Betty Jean became a docent at the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art there. They enjoyed tennis and golf together.
Later after moving home from Sarasota she became a docent at the Milwaukee Art Museum and Ten Chimneys. She also volunteered for about 20 years at the St. Mary’s Thrift shop. She was a member of the Dow Janes Investment Club, TCTC and College Endowment. She belonged to 2 golf leagues at Nagawaukee Golf Course and played this past summer.
She was very active up until her cancer diagnosis. She was still volunteering at the Thrift Shop at St. Mary’s, playing in two bridge groups, Garden Club, TCTC, College Endowment, church Bible classes and book club. She had a very vibrant life. Many will miss her very much.
Visitation will be held at St. Mary Visitation Parish, Elm Grove (1260 Church St.) on Wednesday, January 10 from 9:30 AM until the Mass of Christian Burial at 11 AM. Private graveside services.
In lieu of flowers memorials to Brookfield Academy or St. Mary’s Visitation Church appreciated.
3460 North Brookfield Rd., Brookfield WI 53045
St. Mary’s Visitation Church
1260 Church St., Elm Grove WI 53122