Betty Jean "BJ" Whitten, 94, passed away peacefully at Cactus Peaks Assisted Living Home in Casa Grande on October 22, 2017. BJ was born January 29, 1923 in Leechburg, PA. After her Father's death, her newly widowed mother, Mabel Day Ludwig, with her 2 daughters BJ and Rosalie, moved to Casa Grande in 1929. They lived with Mabel's family who owned and operated the San Carlos Hotel. BJ attended Casa Grande schools, graduating from CG high school in 1940. She then attended the University of Arizona. In 1944 she met her future husband George Whitten at Luke Air Force Field where he was stationed and she was a civilian clerical employee. Both were assigned to the same unit training aviation cadets. In mid 1945 George was transferred to Fresno, CA. Discharged from the Air Corps in 1946, he returned to his job in telecommunications in Los Angeles and BJ worked at St. Joseph Hospital in Phoenix. Many phone calls and letters kept the romance going and on Nov. 15, 1946 they married.
They lived in Los Angeles before buying a home in Whittier, CA. When their 2 boys, Ken and Tom, were preschoolers BJ determined that if they expected to improve their quality of life they needed more income and she needed a job. She found a job she liked in Los Angeles and hired a babysitter. George was transferred to Pomona, CA and BJ became a medical transcriber at Mt. San Antonio Hospital in Upland.
10 years later GTE transferred George to Redlands, CA BJ became medical transcriber at San Gorgonio Pass Hospital in Banning, CA. She advanced to Director of Medical Records and retired in 1984, 2 years after George's retirement.
After being married for 66 years they decided to retire to Ironwood Village in Casa Grande in 2012. They celebrated 70 years of marriage on Nov 15, 2016.
They were avid ballroom dancers. They attended ballroom and Dixieland dances and traveled throughout California attending dances and special festivals. While in their 50s and 60s they traveled extensively throughout Europe, Mexico, the US, Alaska, and Australia. BJ enjoyed painting, playing the piano, craft work, singing in the choir and local little theatre.
She is survived by her husband George L. Whitten, 2 sons Kenneth Whitten (Mary Zalar) of Fairbanks, AK and Dr. Thomas Lynn Whitten of Greensburg, PA. 4 Grandsons and 3 Granddaughters, Nephew William (Clara) Trulove of Casa Grande and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Private services at a later date.