Betty Jane Brown Prout Renier, 1921-2023, 101 years
Betty Jane Brown was born December 1st, 1921, in Iola, a small town in Kansas as the second child of Monte Lymon and Elsie Grace Brown. She grew up during the Depression in four small Kansas towns (Iola, Chanute, Colony, and Humboldt) with a loving family and a wonderful brother, Clifton Harry Brown. After a beautiful childhood she went to Pittsburg Kansas State Teachers college. Here she earned her teaching certificate. She returned home to teach first grade for two years. WW II had broken out and she moved to Kansas City and worked for the KC Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 1947 she met a young architect-engineer at a bus stop one day. He was starting a business in Clinton, Iowa, but came back to ask for her hand. She and Charles Prout married in her folk's home in Humboldt Kansas on October 13, 1948. They moved to Clinton to begin what she called her “magical life”. They worked hard together “into the wee hours of the morning” to build a business and a home. They had four children starting in 1949 and every two years after that. (David, Gayle, Karen and Richard). Chuck designed a house just for her and the family moved into 930 Second Avenue South in Clinton, Iowa in 1956.
She always liked someone who characterized hers as a storybook family and life was wonderful and full. In 1966 she invited an American field service student from Spain. Unfortunately during that school year, she lost her beloved husband.
Following this incredible loss, she began commuting with two other women friends to Davenport, Iowa, finishing a hard-won degree in education in 1969, graduating with her daughter Gayle’s high school graduation. She then taught first grade in Clinton Iowa. What a joyful and creative classroom she had!
In 1971 she met Philip Renier, another widower with 4 children. (Chris, Greg, Toni and Regina). Her former husband’s partner (Al Mugasis) gave plans for a beautiful addition to the home (as a wedding present) for the new family to arrive. She had many challenges and happy memories of this time. Tragedy struck with the loss of her eldest son, David, in 1973.
Betty and Phil moved to Clemmons and then Winston Salem, NC. She got to live 2 blocks away from her brother and his wife! They enjoyed the beautiful mountains and beaches of NC! Phil died in 1998.
In 2008 she moved to Carolina Meadows. If she worried if she would fit in, those doubts were dashed as she was greeted with 5 cards from people in her building and freshly baked cookies! She was in the party building and loved it. Parties and bridge and fellowship abounded!
Betty was a bright and positive force in life! She loved dancing, cooking, fishing and family get togethers. She made beautiful clothes for her children and designed and made her lovely wedding dress. Every year she created a new dress in anticipation of the Charity Ball and the chance to dance with our father.
She is survived by three of her children, Gayle Moyer and Husband Brad of Chapel Hill, NC, Karen Juist of Davenport, Iowa and Richard Prout of Apex, NC. Her grandchildren include Dawn Juist and partner Josh Foster of Clinton, Iowa with children, Carlie Mierley, Jordan Mierley and Blake Foster. And Sean Juist and wife Shaunelle of Gilbert, Az and children Jonathan and Raegan. Stepchildren include Renier’s, Chris, Toni, Greg and wife Sue, and Regina Vinson and husband Steve. Nieces and nephew include Maureen Jones of Alaska and family, Clifton and Donna Brown of Colorado and family and Pam Jeckell of Virginia and family.
She was preceded in death by her parents of Humboldt, Kansas, Monte L and Elsie Grace Brown, Her husband, Charles Prout of Clinton, Iowa, her eldest son, David Prout of Clinton, Iowa and her husband Philip Renier of Winston Salem, NC.
A memorial/celebration of life will be held on Thursday, July 6, 2023, at 1 pm in the auditorium of Club Center at 100 Carolina Meadows, Chapel Hill, NC. 27517
In remembrance consider donating to the Carolina Meadows Residents Association. They support the library, cultural experiences, Art programs, Meadow Garden etc at CM. CMRA, c/o Michael Kenner, Treasurer, 541 Carolina Meadows Villa, Chapel Hill, NC. 27517. But please feel free to donate to the charity of your choice in her name.
I know my mother would want to thank you for being a part of her life! We want to thank her for shining her warm, illuminating, light on ours for 101 years!