Cover photo for Elizabeth "Betty" Thornburg's Obituary
Elizabeth "Betty" Thornburg Profile Photo
1942 Elizabeth 2019

Elizabeth "Betty" Thornburg

December 1, 1942 — November 8, 2019

Elizabeth “Betty” Botos Thornburg, age 76, died peacefully surrounded by the family that adored her on November 8, 2019 at the Israel Family Hospice House in Ames, Iowa.

A family conducted celebration of life service for Betty will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Ogden, Iowa.

Betty was born December 1, 1942, in Ruthven, Iowa to Paul and Wilma Botos. She was the middle child of five children. The Botos family believed in and practiced the values of hard work and thrift. The food on their table was provided by the work of their own hands: in the fields, the barns and the garden. Betty’s father raised her to believe that if your feet fit under the table, you had a job. She mowed lawns, babysat the neighborhood children and participated in family chores. She moved to Perry, Iowa in 1961 after high school graduation and began a career as a legal secretary. She became the mother of two daughters while residing in Perry; Robyn in 1963 and Lisa in 1964. Providing a stable home for her daughters as a single mom from 1965 to 1971 was the sole focus of her life. In 1971, John Thornburg approached her in a restaurant and asked, “Where have I been all your life?” and that silly question began a relationship with the man who would be the love of her life. Betty and the girls moved to Ogden, Iowa to the Thornburg family farm. John and Betty were studious caretakers of 80 acres of rich Iowa farmland and various kinds of livestock but were mostly known as egg producers with flocks of chickens which ranged in number from 30,000 to 120,000 at any given time. They spent their time together as a couple golfing, going out for dinner and drinks with friends, traveling by car and plane to places of interest but above all they enjoyed the time they spent with their family – especially son-in-law Carmen Rubino, who they had fantastic conversation with and their beloved grandchildren – Grace, Isabella, Frank and Sophia. They were the best Nana and Banka to these cherished four. Betty continued her life on the family farm after John’s passing in 2011 but missed his companionship daily and longed for the time when she would be with him again. Her number one goal was always to stay in their home, where so much of the goodness of life had been poured out upon her and her loved ones. We are grateful she was able to do that until the last days of her life.

She will be remembered by our family as both a loving and supportive but firm Mom and Nana. She never ended a phone conversation without saying “I love you”. If you hung up too quickly, she would call you back to be sure that you heard her say it. She was our matriarch, our rock, our constant support, our listening ear, the loving push (sometimes shove!) on our backs to keep moving forward, the maker of our cabbage rolls. Her work ethic, attention to detail, and philosophy of family first has been passed on to the next generations. Our promise is to live worthy of her belief in us. She unquestionably loved her country, her family and her God. We are confident that she has gone home to Him and to the many loved ones who went before her, mainly her mom and dad, brother Johnny and her love, John. We are grateful to have the knowledge that that reunion has happened and was sweet and joyful with the pains and fears of this life all completely in the past. We know that we will see her again and that she will be the first to run and greet us and welcome us home. We love you, Mom. We’re grateful for you and we just simply will never stop missing you.

As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent to Israel Family Hospice House in Ames, Iowa.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elizabeth "Betty" Thornburg, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration Of Life

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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