Betty Mae (Artlip, Packer) Mort
June 18, 1928 – May 6, 2020
Betty Mae Mort, age 91, passed away peacefully May 6, 2020 in Lakeland, Florida, due to natural causes. Born June 18, 1928 in Olean, New York, she was the daughter of the late James and Esther (Wesche) Artlip of Wellsville, New York. Betty was a graduate of Wellsville High School.
In 1946, Betty married George Richard Packer, and the couple settled near Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania, where they were blessed with three children. From 1956 to 1972, Betty was a fixture in the Shinglehouse school lunchroom program. Beginning as a staffer in the elementary school lunchroom, Betty later became the Cafeteria Manager for both the elementary and junior/senior high schools. She was responsible for ordering supplies, planning menus, and feeding approximately 700 students daily.
Following a divorce in 1974, Betty relocated to Florida, first to Tampa, then later to Lakeland, where she very proudly established herself as the #1 salesperson of men’s suits at her local Belk Lindsey. It was in Florida that Betty met the man she described as the “great love of her life” Edward K. “Bud” Mort, Jr. Betty and Bud married in 1975, sharing 16 happy and adventurous years together before cancer prematurely ended Bud’s life in 1991.
Upon marrying Bud, Betty – then age 50 – attended Polk Vocational Technical Center receiving a Certificate of Completion for the course of Drafting – Engineering. She graduated with honors, receiving the second highest grade in the class. Betty joined Bud, already a successful architectural model and graphic designer, to become the highly respected team of EKM and Associates. The duo participated in designing models for several well-known architectural structures throughout Central Florida, including the University of South Florida and Seth McKeel Junior High School, along with many other notable business, government, and residential properties. Additionally, their design partnership also extended to spending a year in Saudi Arabia, completing Phase One of the Aramco Ras Tanajib Community.
In her late 60’s, Betty became a supervisor of card distribution for American Greetings, and worked with many local retail outlets to restock and maintain the greeting card section of the stores. Betty finally retired from employment at 79. Always artistic, she filled her days with embroidering, quilting, knitting and crocheting, painting, and crafting custom greeting cards. Betty enjoyed gardening, and was known throughout her retirement community for her colorful flower beds. And she was a phenomenal cook who loved preparing homemade goodies for her family and friends.
Betty was most recently a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church. She was a lifetime member of VFW, Eagles and the American Legion.
Along with her beloved husband Bud, Betty was also preceded in death by son, George Richard Packer, Jr., stepson Edward K. Mort, III, and stepdaughter Victoria Mort Traina.
Her loving family will forever cherish Betty’s memory: daughters and son-in-law Linda Packer Fagan of Bartow; Janice Packer Sutton and Jerry Sutton of Lakeland; stepdaughter Kimberlee Mort Sammons of Tampa; 12 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren.
A private graveside service will be held Monday, May 11, 2020. A memorial service will be held at Lakeland Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Donation information may be obtained by visiting www.stjude.org.
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