Stillwater News Press

February 9, 2013

Betty Scovill Stratton

Stillwater NewsPress

— Betty Scovill Stratton died Friday, Dec. 28, 2012 at the age of 93. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 at the First Presbyterian Church in Stillwater, Okla.   Arrangements are under the direction of the Strode Funeral Home.

She was a wife, a mother and a teacher.

Betty was born in Hillsdale, Mich., on June 28, 1919, the daughter of Clayton and Winifred (Davis) Scovill.  Her father died when she was nine months old.  Her early years were spent in Pioneer, Ohio living with her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.  Betty’s mother married Harry J. Close when she was eight years old, and she and her mother moved to the Close farm near Pioneer.  Later, helping care for her twin sisters began a life-long love and concern for young children.  

Her early education was in public schools in Ohio and Mich., graduating from Pioneer High School in 1937.  After two years and an associate degree at Bowling Green State University, she taught in public schools for six and a half years beginning with an eight-grade country school and resigning from teaching first graders in Bellevue, Ohio to marry John B. Stratton in 1946.  

The young couple moved to Stillwater, Okla., where Mr. Stratton began his twenty-seven years work with the Library at OSU (then Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College).  There were several years when they left Stillwater, first to New York where Mr. Stratton finished his library education at Columbia University.  Mrs. Stratton taught in a near-by nursery school, and, for a year, first grade in the Orangeburg Public Schools.  Ten years later, Mr. Stratton was sent on special assignment from the OSU Library to set up a college library in Ethiopia, Africa.  In Africa, Mrs. Stratton taught the first three grades at the American Dependant’s School on the college campus.  

 During these years the Stratton’s had two sons, Walter Scovill and James Francis Stratton.

Over the next years, Mrs. Stratton worked with the Heart Fund, was Superintendent of the Kindergarten Department at First Presbyterian Church and later Administrative Assistant in Christian Education.  She was an elder of the church.  As acting director of the first year-round Head Start in Stillwater, she helped set up and begin sessions.  This experience led her to return to the University and finish both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Child Development and Early Education.

At fifty plus years, Mrs. Stratton began a career of university teaching at OSU and in working with day care program directors who asked for help in training their caregivers.  She was able to gather a state-wide group of concerned child care personnel and educators who planned and developed a series of short courses in child care and development that could be sent across the state on request; it was the first such program in this country and the materials, still under constant update, are used by several other states and many organizations.

In her retirement Mrs. Stratton enjoyed travel, needlework, word puzzles, Bible study and music; she especially liked African spirituals and Mozart.  The support and activities of her friends, Linda Houck, Leone List, Sue Herndon, and Fran Stromberg enriched her life and kept her interested and involved in her later years.

Mrs. Stratton is predeceased by her parents, her husband, and two sons.  

She leaves her two sisters, Mary Repp and Martha Champion, their husbands and families.  Also her affectionately adopted family, Randy and Trudy Morphew, many cherished friends and fellow members of her church family.

Condolences may be emailed to the family and an online obituary may be viewed by visiting