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OK Obits

© Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise
Published from Mar. 30 to Apr. 29, 2014
Submitted by: Ann Weber

Bettye Jane (Yates) Johnston

Bettye Jane (Yates) Johnston | Bettye Jane (Yates) Johnston
Mar 1, 1921 ~ Mar 2014

Bettye Jane Yates was born on March 1, 1921 in her parents' home in Avant, Oklahoma. Bettye Jane was the sixth of seven children of Dr. David and Pearl Yates. The seventh child was Joy Yates Buell, a Bartlesville resident until her death in May 2010.

After high school graduation, Bettye Jane attended Northern Oklahoma Junior College in Tonkawa, where she enrolled in her first journalism class and became editor of the school newspaper, The Maverick, before receiving her Associates degree in 1941. That fall, Bettye Jane enrolled at Central State Teachers College in Edmond and continued her pursuit of a degree in English and journalism, then eventually became the editor of the CSTC newspaper, The Vista. While at CSTC she met T.C. Johnston whom she ultimately wed in October 1945 after T.C. returned from serving in WWII. Both received BA degrees in education from Central State Teachers College.

Bettye Jane and T.C. moved several times as Dr. Johnston advanced his career in secondary education ultimately leading them and their four children to Douglas, Arizona, where T.C. was the first president of Cochise College. He was killed in a light plane crash in January 1964, thus Bettye Jane and her children moved to Bartlesville where she could be close to family. Bartlesville became home as Bettye Jane became involved in her community and teaching career.

Bettye Jane taught journalism, English, and photography at Sooner High from 1966 to 1982, and then at the Mid-High from 1982 until she retired in 1986. She was the faculty sponsor for the national award winning Sooner High newspaper, the Shield, the Spartan yearbook, and the Mid-High's newspaper, Bruin Backtalk, and the Bruin yearbook.

Even though Bettye Jane retired from teaching, she was anything but retired. She loved her community and gave time and energy to so many in a variety of ways. She belonged to Church Women United, Delta Kappa Gamma, Kappa Kappa Iota, Washington County Retired Educators Association, Washington County Democrats, and the League of Women Voters, just to name a few. She also wrote publicity for six organizations, was a contributing writer to the Examiner Enterprise, and volunteered for various other writing activities.

Bettye Jane Johnston was preceded in death by her husband, T.C., her eldest son, Terry, her parents, and all of her siblings.

She leaves behind her daughter, Barbara Carter of Tempe, Arizona, her husband, Wade, and their two sons, Colby and Travis; daughter Gayle Basse of Yukon, Oklahoma, her son Blake Basse, his wife Sue, and their two children, Lily and Cooper; son David Johnston, his three children, Jacob, Zachary, and Journey. Other grandchildren include Joshua Johnston of Thornton, Colorado, his wife, Karen, and their two sons, Tavin and Hunter; grandson Noah Johnston of Billings, Montana; granddaughter Erin Johnston Adams of Colorado.

A family graveside service was held on Friday afternoon and a memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 24 at 11:00 at Bartlesville First Church, 4715 Price Road. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to the Bartlesville Public School Foundation, 1100 SW Jennings, Bartlesville.

Friends may sign the online guest book and leave condolences at www.stumpff.org.

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