Betty Marie Marr

Questing Heirs Genealogical Society Newsletter, Volume 37, Number 2 (February 2004):



We learned recently of the death of Betty Marie Marr on January 19, 2004. She joined Questing Heirs in 1983. We remember with gratitude her many years of service in two of the most demanding positions in our organization, Newsletter Editor and Second Vice-President (Membership).

Betty always displayed a happy combination of innate curiosity, patience, adaptability, and persistence. She had the enduring patience, insight, and understanding to raise cats and African violets. These same qualities helped her to master some very strange problems that she encountered while publishing our newsletter. Someone had reported a misspelling on the front page. She saw the error on the printed copy, but when she looked at the electronic copy, the spelling was correct. How could this be? She explored every possibility. Eventually, she was able to prove that the letter “R” in one of the fonts on her computer was defective. It displayed correctly on the computer screen, but disappeared completely on the way to the printer. While anyone else would probably have been extremely upset by the inconvenience this caused, Betty’s reaction was one of bemused wonderment. She persevered, and found a way to work around the problem.

Some years later, we found ourselves without a Second Vice-President. This position involves keeping track of membership and annual dues, as well as generating the mailing labels for the monthly newsletter. Always generous with her time, Betty stepped forward cheerfully. During her tenure, she undertook the task of tracking down members who were behind in their dues, and made the membership process more orderly. Progress on these efforts was difficult. It had to be measured in months. But her perseverance paid off.

It should come as no surprise that the same qualities that suited her to the complexities of the newsletter and the membership rolls also made her a natural for genealogy. The art of family history requires, of course, that we be continually curious about people and their history. We know from experience that curiosity alone is not enough. We have to persist with our questioning, but we also have to be extremely patient, willing to bide our time until we find a way to get to the answers. We have to be willing to learn or even to invent new skills, or to master new topics that may seem, at first, completely foreign to our experience. Betty was always ready to learn something new, a little at a time, and she always found the time to get it done.

She even managed to keep her genealogy organized. Shortly after her death, her attorney contacted the Long Beach Family History Center to arrange for disposition of those parts of her research notes that her relatives did not want to keep. And, we learned, she made a bequest to Questing Heirs. It is a pleasure to recognize Betty Marr’s contributions to Questing Heirs. We are grateful for the time that she spent with us, and will always remember her fondly.

—John McCoy

Long Beach Press-Telegram, January 21, 2004:

MARR, Betty Marie, age 69, passed away peacefully on January 19, 2004. Betty was born in Fort Riley, Kansas, attended nursing school at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and worked as a nurse in Michigan, Denver and Long Beach. Prior to her retirement she worked as a medical surgical nurse for Memorial Hospital. She was avidly interested in genealogy and was a member of the Questing Heirs Genealogical Society in Long Beach. Betty is survived by several cousins: Nora Holtz, Ruby Miller, Norma Dijak and Freida Sousley; and aunts and uncles: Floyd and Geneva Woosley and Velma and Duane Giese, as well as close friends Helen Bowser, Janet Strait, Kay and Jack Foord, Dorothy Beck, Frances Stephenson, Vicki Hathaway and Linda Knowles. At Betty’s request, no services will be held. Contributions may be made to Questing Heirs Genealogical Society, Inc., P.O. Box 15102, Long Beach, CA 90815 or to Memorial Hospital Medical Foundation, Long Beach, CA.

Serving the Long Beach area since 1969