Betty Marie (Kantor) Smith was born Aug. 29, 1930, on the farm in the house her folks had finished shortly before her birth near Garland to Frank and Bettie (Hain) Miriovsky and passed away Oct. 27, 2020, in Seward at the age of 90 years, 1 month and 28 days.
Betty attended country school (District 87) about 1 ¼ miles north of the farm where she lived. She had to walk every day and on real stormy, windy, cold and snowy days, her dad took her with the horse and wagon because the road was too muddy for the car, as there were no gravel roads. She sat on the floor of the wagon on stumps covered with blankets to keep warm. Betty attended high school in Dwight at Dwight Assumption. She stayed with her aunt, Stazie Hain. Her dad would take her the 10 miles on Monday morning and pick her up on Friday night after school. Betty won a scholarship to attend college at Kearney Teachers College in 1947 after graduation. Her mother wasn’t feeling well, so her parents wanted her to stay home and help her mother until she got married, which she did.
On April 18, 1950, Betty was united in marriage to Raymond J. Kantor, who was a brother of her sister Phyllis’ husband. He had returned from the Navy after World War II and was farming. Their marriage was held at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Bee. After their marriage, they moved to a farm 1 ½ miles southeast of Bee. Betty was a busy farmer’s wife, cooking, gardening, canning and raising 350 laying hens every year. Ray farrowed more than 100 baby pigs and farmed around 400 acres. Their marriage was blessed with four children, Kathleen, Susan, Peggy and Timothy. In February of 1964, Ray was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease and he passed away on Dec. 9, 1966. Betty had a farm sale and bought a house in Seward, moving in the spring of 1967. Betty worked at the hospital in medical records and in a medical clinic.
In January of 1976, Betty was united in marriage to Lavern Smith and moved to Syracuse. She lived there until 1984 when she divorced and moved back home to Seward. She then worked at the Pamida Discount Store until her retirement in 1999. Betty enjoyed playing cards, working in her flower and vegetable gardens and doing volunteer work. She loved to bake and her specialties included rosettes, kolaches, sticky buns and crescent rolls. She was a member of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. She thanked God every day for her family and all of her blessings.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents; two husbands, Ray Kantor and Lavern Smith; two sisters, Mary Navratil and Phyllis Kantor; and two brothers, Frank and Joseph Miriovsky.
Survivors cherishing her memory include her four children, Kathy (Larry) Koester, Omaha, Sue Fisher, Omaha, Peg (Marvin) Aldrich, Schuyler, and Tim (Nancy) Kantor, Burnsville, Minnesota; step-son, Gary (Annette) Smith, Grafton; sister-in-law, Dorothy Miriovsky, David City; eight grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and host of many friends.
The family will receive friends from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 6, at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Seward, with Rosary and Mass of Christian Burial to follow. Graveside service and inurnment is at noon at the Seward Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Gregory the Great Seminary or St. Vincent de Paul Audio Visual Fund. Condolences may be left for the family at www.zabkafuneralhome.com.