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Official Obituary of

Betty "Elizabeth" (Tingle) McClusky

April 10, 1927 ~ February 18, 2024 (age 96) 96 Years Old

Betty "Elizabeth" McClusky Obituary

Betty "Elizabeth" Tingle McClusky, born April 10, 1927 in Salisbury, MD, passed away on February 18, 2024 in Auburn, NY.  A lifelong resident of Memphis, burial will be at Calvary Catholic Cemetery on Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis on Friday, March 8th at 2pm. White Chapel Funeral Home Inc., Auburn NY and Canale Funeral Directors in Memphis, TN, are handling the arrangements.

Betty, who lived a vibrant and lengthy life, was preceded in death by her husband "Big Bill;" sons John and Bill; and beloved dog Josie. At the age of 96, she surpassed most of her relatives and friends. Betty found joy in outdoor work, often spotted with a rake or shovel in hand. She nurtured an array of plants including African violets, gardenias, forsythia, roses, jasmine, clematis, and cultivating anything that could root in water. Known for her attentive eye on neighbors' homes, Betty always had extra love and treats for their dogs. She had a habit of calling the fire department at the slightest beep and eagerly accompanied her best friend Joyce on errands. Betty's passion for cooking Sunday dinners, embroidery, and crocheting afghans was boundless, and her days babysitting great-grandkids Porter and Madison were some of her best.

Innately driven, Betty dedicated nearly five decades to the workforce in a myriad of jobs. Early on she was a telephone operator where she lost hearing in one ear due to a lightning strike on the line. She also waitressed at a diner where she encountered her future husband. Years later, she managed a snack bar overlooking Main Street in Memphis, and then operated a diner at the old Memphis Municipal Airport. Her commitment extended to Service Merchandise and Sears, where she provided exceptional customer service to anyone within proximity who spoke to her good ear.  Betty converted to Catholicism when she married Big Bill and was a parishioner of St. John’s Catholic Church and later Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Memphis.

As Betty advanced in age, she resided with her two daughters. Initially, she lived in Oklahoma City with Mary Jo and her husband Rick, relishing moments on the patio smoking and having afternoon cocktails. Eventually, she relocated to Auburn, NY, joining Beth and her husband Rod. In Auburn, Betty found comfort in smoking on a climate-controlled porch and sharing table scraps with the pets.

Betty needed and appreciated her in-home caregivers (Marlene, Shasta), especially in her last months of life (Patty, Desiree, Shirley, Tina) before transitioning to The Commons on Saint Anthony in Auburn, where she was well cared for and remained until her death.  Betty had an impact on all who met her and her stubbornness and crazy antics will be remembered.

Betty leaves her daughters mentioned above and their families; her daughter Terry; her daughter-in-law Lorna; her grandchildren and their children Tiffany, Candice (Andrew), Bridget (Patrick), Joseph (Amanda), Aaron (Bethany), Trisha, Chris (Tracy), Brian (Heather), Anthony (Angela), her nieces Julia Anne, Jane (Pat), Mary Elizabeth (Pei), nephews Charles, Danny (Donna).

"Dream Street"

There is a street –where only dreamers go

Where roses bloom and silver pipers play

Where stairways to the stars are hanging low

And castles rise along the gilded way.

There is a street—that’s hidden in the mind

Where wayward fancy weaves a golden gauze

And dares to stray beyond the heights to find

Some wonderland that has no wordly flaws.

Where horizons are limitless, and luring—

Where daring dawns will banish foolish fears—

Where every grand adventure is enduring—

Across the royal coronet of years.

And time stood still, for just an hour or two

On dream street, when I linger there with you!

- Poem found in her wallet.  Author unknown


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