Betty Short

November 23, 1949 - July 24, 2015
Kalamazoo, MI



Wednesday, July 29, 2015
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Food and refreshments will be served.

Driving Directions


Friday, July 31, 2015
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM CDT
Young Funeral Home
118 East College Ave
Greenville, IL 62246
(618) 664-2341
Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

West Michigan Cancer Center
200 North Park Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 382-2500
Driving Directions
Web Site

Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
222 N. Kalamazoo Mall, Ste. 100
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 345-0273
Driving Directions
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


All who knew Betty Short would agree that she was one of the sweetest people around. She was never one to worry about what she had, rather, her focus was on what she could give to those around her. Betty treasured her family, and although her roles as a wife and mother were of the utmost importance, she considered it such a blessing to be a grandmother. Known for her nurturing personality, she cared for and inspired countless others throughout her nursing career. Although life was not without times of trial, her courage, strength, and unending perseverance leaves us all with much to aspire for. Betty will be deeply missed, but she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.

During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as WWII raged on throughout much of Europe and the Pacific. With the end of the war in 1945, there was celebrating in the streets, and rationing became a thing of the past. Countless young servicemen and women were able to return home, and with that the baby boom was underway. Amidst this eventful time was a time of great anticipation in the lives of Roland and Violet (Brewer) Britt as they eagerly anticipated the birth of their new baby. The big day finally arrived when the baby girl they named Betty Sue drew her first breath on November 23rd, 1949. She was one of five children, joined in her family by her brothers, Bill and Don, and her sisters, Judy and Clarice.

Raised on a farm near Pleasant Mound, Betty was a young girl of her generation. Her father sold insurance and was a postmaster while her mother was a local schoolteacher. For first through third grades, Betty attended a one-room schoolhouse, and then she went on to Smithboro Elementary School for grades four through six. Her later school years found her at Mulberry Grove schools for grades seven through twelve where she played the clarinet in the band, was in the chorus, and on the yearbook staff. Betty was also a member of Future Homemakers of America including as a state officer during her senior year, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and an honor student.

After graduating from high school in 1967, Betty attended St. Luke’s School of Nursing in St. Louis, Missouri, graduating with a registered nurse diploma in 1970. She later earned a certificate in gerontology.

In 1974, Betty married Gerald Watson, and she helped raise his two children from a previous marriage, Brian and Jill. Together they also were blessed with two children, Ross and Jana. Although they later divorced, Betty was forever grateful for the children they shared.

New and exciting changes were in store for Betty when she became reacquainted with a man from her past. Interestingly, they met on the school bus at the start of their seventh grade year. His name was Bob Short, although he went by his middle name, Jerry, at that time. When she saw him that day, she told a friend that she would marry him someday, at least that is the story that Betty always told. They reconnected at a high school reunion in 1993, and they married in 1994. This brought two more stepchildren into her life, Jessica and Allison Short. Betty was a loving and devoted mother and grandmother to all of her children and grandchildren.

Betty loved working as an RN, and she spent more than 40 years working in a variety of capacities including as a school nurse, in cardiac care, and also in oncology, home health care, and retirement communities. In 2012, Betty retired from Watermark Retirement Communities as the corporate director of resident programming. Despite her success in the corporate world, she never lost her focus, which was always on caring for and nurturing others first and foremost. Even after retiring, Betty continued working for Watermark on an as-needed basis until early in 2014. During her retirement years, she also volunteered with Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Betty made such an impact on everyone she met including her coworkers at Watermark. Upon her retirement, they presented her with a large vase engraved with several of the character traits they appreciated about her. These included things like compassionate, friend, leader, understanding, and respected among many more. Betty was so touched, and she was forever proud to have been part of the Watermark Retirement Community team.

After being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor on September 1, 2014, Betty chose to use this experience to portray a sense of calm as an example to others who face the same road. Having been an oncology nurse for several years, she knew full well that she was in for a tough battle. In classic Betty form, she approached her new journey with determination, confidence, courage, and grace. Because of her many years of work and personal travel around the country, she had hundreds of people reaching out to her offering their support and encouragement, which brought her such joy.

Throughout her rich and rewarding life, Betty Short thought of others first and foremost. She has been described as extraordinary, charismatic, inspirational, and genuine, and her strength and courage were unmatched. Betty enjoyed things like cooking, gardening, and reading, but there was nothing that was better than spending time with her family and friends. She was a natural leader who was well respected by everyone she met, but she was also humble, patient, and selfless. A beautiful woman on the inside and out, Betty will be forever missed.

Betty Sue Britt Short died on July 24, 2015. Betty’s family includes her husband; father; daughter, Jana (Ben Jones) Watson; son, Roland (Maxine Beach) Watson; step-children, Jill (Reid Krueger) Watson, Brian (Kelly) Watson, Jessica (Michael) Skanes, and Allison Short; grandchildren, Isaac Watson and Kit Reedy; step-grandchildren, Foster and Eleanor Neve-Jones, Cameron and Marshall Krueger, Abigail Watson and Stefon Skanes; brother, Don (Sandy) Britt; sisters, Judy (Larry) Leidner, Clarice (Randy) Reitz; several nieces and nephews; sisters-in-law, Linda Britt, Carol Beckert, and Janet Hoskins; brothers-in-law, Joe (Connie) Short, and John (Rhonda) Short. Betty was preceded in death by her mother; brother, Bill; father-in-law, Robert Short; mother-in-law, Olive Short; and brothers-in-law, Clayton Redenbo, and Mike Beckert. Cremation has taken place and a celebration of Betty’s life will be held from 5-8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29th at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler-Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive in Kalamazoo (375-2900). Friends and family will also gather from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, July 31st at Young Funeral Home, 118 East College Avenue in Greenville, IL. A private internment of remains will be held at Fort Custer National Cemetery at a later date.