NLJ Staff


May 29, 1938–Dec. 30, 2020

Elizabeth “Betty” Zoe Truman Townsend, 82, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, at The Legacy Living and Rehabilitation Center, holding her daughter Donna’s hand.

Betty was born to Maurice and Margaret (Shaykett) Truman on May 29, 1938. Along with her siblings, Butch and Barb, she grew up and attended schools in the Belle Fourche area. She graduated from Belle Fourche High School
in 1956.

In October of 1964 Betty was united with Robert “Bob” Townsend. To this union they each brought four children. Tom, Donna, Lori and Bobbi Evans and Richard, Emily, Tina and David Townsend. In 1966 Jodi was born, completing their family.

They made their home in Upton, Wyo., for many years and traveled often to Rapid City, S.D., to see Betty’s parents, Maurice and Margaret, and to the Townsend family ranch at Clareton, Wyo., to visit Bob’s children, mother Ruby and sister Lois. They attended many high school sporting events, band and choir concerts, Raider Rarities and Job’s Daughters functions with their kids.

Later they moved to Newcastle, Wyo., Clareton, Custer, S.D., and Hill City, S.D., eventually moving back to Newcastle where Betty lived until she was moved to The Legacy Living and Rehabilitation Center due to health issues. 

Betty worked as a waitress, cook and bartender. She also worked at the hospital in Newcastle and T-shirt shop in Hill City. In her spare time she made wedding flowers and floral arrangements for various occasions. She loved to sew and crochet and always had a project she was working on. 

Her family said, “Betty was a Lioness and a member of the ladies extension group. She was a very social person and made many friends through the years. She was kind and caring and would do whatever she could to help you out. A quick trip to the grocery store may turn into an hour or two depending on who she ran into! She always taught us that no matter what, there is always room for one more!”

Betty is survived by her children, Tom (June) Evans and Richard (Sandy) Townsend of Gillette, Wyo., Donna (Larry) Buurma of Rapid City, S.D., Emily Hill of Harrold, S.D.,  Lori (Ralph) Conklin and Bobbi Henry of Cottage Grove, Ore., and Jodi (Tony) Milner of Dubois, Idaho. She was known as ‘Granny’ to numerous grandkids, great- and great-great-grandkids, each of whom she was so proud and loved so very much. She had several nieces and nephews, and a sister-in-law, Lois Townsend, of Rapid City.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Robert (Bob) Townsend; parents, Maurice and Margaret Truman; brother, Maurice (Butch) Truman; sister, Barbara Straw; son, David Townsend; daughter, Norene (Tina) Carlin; and three grandsons, Andrew (A.J.)  Brooks, William Wilcox, and Corbin Hill.

The family is planning to hold services later this year.


News Letter Journal

News Letter Journal
14 W. Main St.
P.O. Box 40
Newcastle, WY 82701
Ph: (307) 746-2777
Fax: (307) 746-2660

Email Us


Please Login for Premium Content