Betty Jean Robinson


Betty Jean Robinson, 94, of Perham, Minn., passed away on April 9, 2023, of natural causes.

The oldest child of Maurice and Goldie (True) Harding, she was born on May 28, 1928, in rural Cheney, Kan., and graduated from Cheney High School in 1946. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in home economics and art at Kansas State University in 1950, later completing postgraduate studies at Fort Hays University and the University of Minnesota.

While at K-State, Betty Jean met George H. Robinson, and they were married in the chapel there on January 27, 1951. They were blessed to have three children: Eugene, George and Audrey.

Betty Jean started her career by working as a home agent for K-State Extension Education in Lincoln and Ellis counties and as associate 4-H agent for Sedgwick County. Later she helped her husband run their truck stop and their creamery in Hays, Kan.

Arriving in rural Perham in 1968, Betty Jean substitute-taught for a few years at Perham High School and taught adult education classes. She volunteered as a 4-H project leader, judged 4-H fairs for many years and was active with the Minnesota Horticulture Society.

True to her Christian faith, Betty Jean served her church as a youth leader, choir member, board member (including chairing the board) and treasurer of United Methodist Women. She also taught both children’s and adult Sunday School. While serving 25 years as the Perham United Methodist Church historian, she authored history booklets commemorating church centennials.

A creative spirit, Betty Jean said she was never happier than when she was arranging flowers or painting with watercolors. She shared her knowledge and passion for watercolor by teaching painting to fellow retirees while wintering in her Texas retirement community and summering at home in Perham.

She was preceded in death by her husband, George H. Robinson, and sisters Maxine Harding and Joan Kannarr. She is survived by her sister Darlene Hansen and brother Richard (Marie) Harding; two sons, Eugene (Julie) Robinson and George (Carla) Robinson; and daughter, Audrey (Craig) Robinson Favorito; ten grandchildren and three-plus great-grandchildren (one on the way).

A memorial service will be held at Perham United Methodist Church on June 10 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Perham United Methodist Church in her memory.

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