Mrs. Betty Eugunia Smith-Martin, born on March 20, 1944, was the daughter of Eugene Smith and his wife, Sarah Miller Smith, and was born at home.
Betty was a student at Garfield School in Danville, Ill., and of Danville High School.
Betty met and married Stanley Edward Martin of Danville. They married in 1963 and had two children, Joseph Abraham Martin, born Dec. 23, 1967, and Elizabeth Martha Martin, born Nov. 19, 1969. They divorced in 1970.
Betty was always interested in education, an interest she encouraged and nurtured in her two children. Betty attended and graduated from Danville Junior College. In 1975 Betty earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in early childhood education. Betty also took courses in nursing because she had a love for people and wanted to help others. Betty did enjoy education, such that in the 1990s she transferred to Illinois State University where she earned senior year credits in sociology and at the University of Illinois at Springfield earned senior year credits in psychology.
Through her encouragement, her son, Joseph, earned a Bachelor of Science in agriculture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. And her daughter, Elizabeth, earned a Bachelor of Science in political science with a minor in sociology at Illinois State University and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a concentration in clinical counseling at the University of Illinois at Springfield.
In the late 1990s Betty and her two children moved from Danville to Champaign-Urbana. Betty always loved people and loved life. She enjoyed picnics, cooking, watching science-fiction movies and action adventure movies. She rarely watched comedies, because she said that many of them were making humor from someone’s real-life hardship.
Betty enjoyed exercise and participated in two Champaign County YMCA survivor challenges, completing both of them. She also enjoyed weightlifting and in her mid to late 60s was able to pull 165 pounds toward her chest on the horizontal cable and carry sitting benches in the gym for moderate distances.
Betty was a deeply religious woman and was a member of Second Baptist Church in Danville where her mother, Sarah, was a member. In Champaign, Betty was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church and Foundation where she participated in Balance and the International Coffee House. Betty also was a member of the non-denominational campus church Deep Roots in Christ, a congregation mostly composed of international students. This is because Betty wanted to meet and befriend people of all races.
Betty told her children why she gave them their names. Her son, Joseph, is named after Jesus’ carpenter father and Abraham, who God made the promise to. Betty’s daughter, Elizabeth, is named after Mary, the mother of Jesus’ cousin and Martha, whom Jesus loved. Betty would remind her children even as adults why they were given these names. Betty and her children lived together from the time Joseph and Elizabeth were born, as they were together with Betty all the time, including the very moment God called forth her spirit, taking her back with Him to heaven.
Betty is survived by her two children, Joseph and Elizabeth. Betty also is survived by other relatives and the many friends she made in life. May God bless this dear woman forevermore.
Mother was a very kind and gentle person, often putting the needs of her children and friends before those of her own. When Joseph and I were children and adolescents, mother would spend the same amount on both of us equally. We received the same — not one of us more, not one of us less — just as mother loved us and life dearly. Mother is blessed and loved by God, and is a child of God in heaven now. May the God, Lord, always keep her soul with him and safe and bless her legacy and all those whose lives she encountered. Mother will be greatly missed by many.
A memorial service was held at Wesley United Methodist Church and Foundation. The Wolfe-Blurton Funeral Home in Potomac assisted the family with the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family at: www.blurtonfuneralhomes.com.