Dr. Betty Ross Conner, 89, of Cornwall, PA died at the Penn State M.S. Hershey Medical Center on April 4, 2020.

Dr. Conner was born on December 9, 1930 in Chicago, IL and was the only child of Dr. Percy Jay Ross and Florence R. Ross of La Grange, IL, where she spent her entire childhood.  Dr. Conner received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. She received her master’s degree in Microbiology from the University of Illinois and her doctorate from Penn State University.  She met her husband, Dr. George H. Conner, at the University of Illinois, where they did early work together on human papilloma viruses. She also did work on Burkitt’s lymphoma.

George and Betty were married on August 20, 1955 in Chicago and started their family there. After stints in Detroit, Baltimore, and Evanston, IL, they moved to Lebanon, PA in 1972 where they lived for 44 years. Betty was active in the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters and focused her work on environmental issues, particularly clean water, for which she received many awards and recognition.  She was also one of the founders of the Swatara Creek Watershed Association and was an active member at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Lebanon. She loved to spend her summers on the shore of Lake Michigan with her children and grandchildren.

She is survived by her husband and 3 children: Ross Thomas Conner of Jonestown, PA, John Morris Conner (Karen) of Overland Park, KS, and Sarah Ann Conner (David Park) of Chicago, IL and by two grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents and by her son Christopher Jay Conner.

She left this world a better place, and the family suggests honoring her life with a donation to one of the organizations in which she was active in lieu of flowers.

A memorial service will be planned for a later date. Rohland Funeral Home, Inc. of Lebanon, PA is handling her arrangements. www.rohlandfh.com