Betty Irene Fox Houser (1925-2020)

Posted January 11, 2020

Betty Irene Fox Houser, 94, of Jonestown, passed away on January 11, 2020, at her home surrounded by her loving family. She was the wife of the late BG (Ret.) Richard H. Houser with whom she was married for 64 years. She was born in Lebanon as a daughter of the late John and Estella Mae Reddinger Fox. She graduated from the Lebanon High School, Class of 1943. She was a member of the St. John’s United Church of Christ in Jonestown.

Betty was employed by the former Bethlehem Steel Concentrator Plant being the 1st woman hired during WW II. She was also the secretary for Judges Ehrgood and Eggli and also for Senator Becker. After getting married in San Diego, CA, she worked at the Solar Air Plant as a secretary where they built airplanes during WW II, as well as working for lawyers for the El Toro Marine Corp Base. After returning to Jonestown, she was the secretary for General Richard Snyder at the Department of Military Affairs, Fort Indiantown Gap. Betty was also a secretary for the German Prisoner Camp during WW II at the Gap. Betty was the Pin-Up Girl of the 3rd Marines Division during WW II. She was formerly a member of the Women’s Club of Lebanon, the Order of the Eastern Star, the Perseverance Fire Company, and a current member of the Jonestown American Legion Auxiliary.

Betty led a full, selfless, caring and giving life and her greatest and most important work was done at home raising and caring for her five children. She loved her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren dearly and they loved her. She especially enjoyed cooking for her family. Betty was also a good musician, having played the accordion, Jews harp, harmonica and piano and she also played in a country band. She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother and sister. When she wasn’t spending time with her family, Betty enjoyed card club, word-search puzzles and she loved to color.

She is survived by her daughters, Cheryl A., companion of William DeGroat of Arizona City, AZ, Beverly J., wife of Patrick Brewer of Lebanon, Debra J., wife of Gregory Bishop of Myerstown, and Lesley K., companion of Richard Briar, Jr., of Jonestown; grandchildren, Stefani Stoner, Todd Stoner, Kristy Stoner, Benjamin Brewer, Melinda Eckert, Angela Brewer, Cole Brewer, Matthew Bishop, Ryan Fortna and Adam Fortna; six great-grandchildren and her sister Dorothy Edris of Jonestown. She was preceded in death by her husband BG (Ret.) Richard H. Houser, her son R. Scott Houser, brothers Harry and John Fox and sisters Goldie Fox and M. June Basehore.

Interment will be held privately in the Mt. Lebanon Cemetery, Lebanon. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Joy Pantry, P.O. Box 121, Jonestown, PA 17038. In keeping with Betty’s wishes, private services will be held at the convenience of the family.

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