Elizabeth Hallford Obituary (1935 – 2022) – Tulsa, OK

Elizabeth S. Hallford

On Saturday, June 4th, Elizabeth “Betty” Hallford of Tulsa passed away at Norman Regional Hospital. According to some state records, however, Betty had been considered dead since 1935. Born to George and Faye Swanson in a farmhouse on February 16th, 1935, Betty appeared stillborn, so the doctor left and filed a death certificate for her. Her parents later registered her birth certificate in a different county, rendering her legally both alive and dead.

During the Great Depression, she and her siblings sometimes had to live with relatives. She was valedictorian of her high school class and received a Master’s Degree in Education at Northeastern University. Although she preferred mathematics, math positions generally went to men back then, so she focused on subjects for which she had better prospects. While at NSU, she would meet Henry Gene Hallford, her future husband.

After Henry enlisted in the Army, he was transferred to Fort Knox, but embarked on a risky AWOL journey to Oklahoma to marry her over the Thanksgiving holiday of 1955. Shortly thereafter, Henry was shipped off to Germany, and Betty would join him in 1956.

Following Henry’s Army service, they returned to Stilwell, Oklahoma to start their family with the birth of their first son, Gene. Both Henry and Betty would teach at Cave Springs schools until they moved to Tulsa where she and Henry would live for the rest of their lives. Their second son, Neal, was born in 1966.

She returned to work as an adult education teacher, then accepted a position for Sand Springs Schools at the Salvation Army Home for Unwed Mothers. Betty taught girls aged 9 to 18, all in the same classroom. After the program was phased out, she continued to work for the Sand Springs district in various capacities.

Betty was devoted to her family, and her faith. She and Henry served as Sunday school teachers for Osage Hills Christian Church, where they were loyal members.

Betty is preceded in death by her parents, brothers Don, Jim, and Bob, and her husband. She is survived by her brother George William, her sons Henry Gene Hallford Jr. (Terrye) and William Neal Hallford (Jana); two grandchildren, Jennifer Bolinger, and Jordy Rossol; and several great grandchildren.

Her funeral is June 17th at 2 p.m. at Osage Hills Christian Church in Tulsa. She will be interred with her husband at Ft. Gibson National Cemetery, arranged by Mobley-Groesbeck. Memorial donations may be made to the Sand Springs Educational Foundation.

Published by Tulsa World on Jun. 15, 2022.

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