Betty LaVaughn Tucker, 89, a longtime Danville resident and recent Urbana resident, died Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013.
She was born Jan. 16, 1924, in Danville, daughter of Veva Essel Phillips and Algie French Gilbreath.
She is survived by one sister, Beverly M. Cooper of Danville; two nieces Jean E. Schweitzer of Seattle, Wash., Marilyn L. Schweitzer of Naperville, Ill.; three nephews, Edmund O. Schweitzer III of Pullman, Wash., James E. Cooper Jr of Oceanside, Calif., and Thomas G. Cooper of Reno, Nev.; and many dear friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles W. Tucker; her two brothers, Eugene E. Gilbreath and Jack H. Gilbreath; and two sisters, Pauline R, Voss and Thelma L. Schweitzer.
Betty worked as a “Gandy Dancer” on the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad section during World War II. At the C&EI RR, she was the first woman to have a drafting apprenticeship. Subsequently she worked as a draftsman at the C&EI RR, Bohn Aluminum, General Electric and Olin. She also was a beautician and china painter.
An avid gardener, she was a member and part president of the Danville Garden Club, member of the Friendship Garden Club of Fountain County, Ind; and charter member of the Vermilion County Master Gardeners.
Betty, along with her husband, were active members in the Illiana Sports Car Club, where she won Woman Driver of the Year. They also enjoyed buying and selling antiques in local area flea markets.
She was an active volunteer particularly for the United Samaritans Medical Center and the Vermilion County Museum.
Last but not least, Betty loved cooking, reading, animals and simply being with people.
Betty will be remembered for her generosity, sense of humor, kindness, industriousness, creativity, sense of style, independence and spiritual strength even in adversity.
Services will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, at Sunset Funeral Home in Danville with Pastor Mike Smith officiating. Burial will follow in Spring Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be noon until services Tuesday at the funeral home. There also will be a brief service at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28, at Emeritus at Canterbury Ridge in Urbana.
Memorial donations may be made in Betty’s name to Vermilion County Master Gardeners or Vermilion County Museum Society. Please join Betty’s family in sharing memories through her Tribute Wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com.