Our dearly beloved friend, sister, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and companion, Betty Jean Abraham Watson, passed away peacefully at her home in Manti, Utah at 5:47 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26, 2022 surrounded by her surviving children and one of her many loving sister-wives.
She was 79 years old. Betty fought a long battle with blood cancer due to exposure to radiation from atom bomb testing at the Nevada test site in the 1950s and 1962.
Betty was born on Feb. 4, 1943 to Marjorie Jean McCall Abraham and Myron Dale Abraham in Los Angeles, California, where her father Dale was working in the defense industry during World War II.
After the war, Betty returned with her family to central Utah. She grew up in central and southern Utah in Kanosh, Circleville and St. George, with a brief stay in Lindon, Utah County, with her grandparents in the 11th grade.
She graduated from Dixie High School in St. George, Utah, in the class of 1961. After high school Betty attended Dixie College and was very active in the social joys of college life.
She was married to Therol Millett in the St. George, Utah LDS temple in September 1962, but the marriage didn’t last. During that marriage Betty found her way to Layton, Utah, where she worked at Hill Air Force Base. After her first marriage ended Betty served a local mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In 1967, Betty met John Whitman Ray at a class he was teaching at the University of Utah. After a short courtship, she agreed to become his plural wife. She relocated to Pinesdale, Montana, where she lived with her extensive and growing family in the late 1960’s to mid 1970’s.
In 1976 Betty moved to Salt Lake County, Utah with the Ray family. During her marriage to John, she gave birth to three children: Ruth, Dale, and Elizabeth. Betty lived in Salt Lake County for the next few decades.
In 1979, her relationship with John ended due to his infidelity. Betty re-married David Gary Watson in February 1980, also becoming his plural wife. Betty was faithful to David for the rest of her life.
Betty moved with David and his family to Sanpete County in late 2014 and lived out her life in the shadow of the Manti temple. She was a woman of faith and faithful to the end.
Betty was preceded in death by her mother, Marjorie Jean McCall Abraham; her father, Myron Dale Abraham; her daughter, Ruth; and brother, Myron Abraham.
She is survived by six siblings: Virginia Balding, Lee Abraham, Judy Felter, June Judy, Christine White and Kevin Abraham; two children. Dale Watson and Elizabeth Jessop; 14 grandchildren; 1- plus great-grandchildren; and many others she loved and cared for.
Betty was both nurturer and provider. She loved delving into the unknowable mysteries of the universe and did so by creating beautiful art, dancing, listening to fine music, attending performing arts, playing the accordion, playing the piano, traveling, loving on her cats, loving those around her and eating at restaurants.
Betty taught many children the joy of tap dancing and ballet. She worked hard to give her children, and many others, a loving, caring place to call home. She deserves the title of mother as she was a mother to many! Make the world better, be more like mama Betty: passionate, loving, loyal, trustworthy, confident, joyful, enthusiastic, kind and generous. Betty was selfless and showed love and kindness to all!
Betty did NOT want a sad and dreary funeral. She wanted a dance party to celebrate her life. Everyone, old, young, middle aged, and all who knew and loved her, are invited to attend the dance party in her honor on Saturday, May 7, 2022, in the Liberty Hall, 87 North Main Street, Manti, Utah.
A viewing will be held from 10:30 to noon, dance party from noon to 3 p.m. (wear some baby blue if you have it as it was close to her favorite color), with internment services at the Manti City Cemetery starting at 3:33 p.m. A family dinner will be held back at Liberty Hall starting at 5 p.m.
Rest in Peace, we bid you a fond farewell, until we meet again! Bon voyage on your new adventure!
Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com.