Betty H. Leigh, 93, of Sparland, passed away June 2, 2021 surrounded by her loving family at the Richard L. Owens Hospice House in Peoria. Born November 21, 1927 in rural Minonk to the late William and Edna (Rithmiller) Hattan, she graduated in 1949 from Illinois Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Betty married James L. Leigh on January 1, 1951 in a private ceremony in her childhood home. Betty and Jim lived and farmed in rural Sparland for over 70 years.
Betty was deeply involved in the LaPrairie United Methodist Church and later the LaPrairie United Presbyterian Church. She served as Session member, Sunday school teacher and choir member. An avid seamstress and baker, she made quilts for the Blanket Brigade, and food for decades of church dinners and ice cream socials. She was a 4-H leader for the LaPrairie Ramblerettes, a 4-H fair judge and Home Extension Club leader.
Jim and Betty loved to travel, whether piling four lively kids into the station wagon for camping vacations across the country or later traveling the world together.
She is survived by her husband Jim; children Jamie (Jay) Vroom of McLean Va., Mark (Gerri) Leigh of Sparland, Patricia (David) Crow of Mclean Va., William (Deborah) Leigh of Minonk; grandchildren Matthew (Kristin) Vroom, Brian (Zoe) Vroom, Nathan (Tianna) Webster, Kaitlyn (Jay) Streitmatter, Kristin (Nolan) Lock, James Leigh and Christopher Leigh. Six great-grandchildren brought her great delight. She was preceded by her brother, William M. Hattan, Jr.
A private family graveside service will be held at the LaPrairie Methodist Cemetery with Alan Willadsen officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Betty’s name to the LaPrairie UPW and online condolences can be left at lenzmemorialhome.com
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