On Sunday, January 8, 2017, 85-year-old Ponca City resident Betty Ann Blackwell, died in her sleep at her son Richard's home in Ponca City. Only 12 days elapsed from the time of the diagnosis of her cancer to the time of her death; a short-time left for her family to share and a long-time for her to be greatly missed. A devoted mother and very beloved grandmother, Betty had seven children: six boys and one girl, along with 17 grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren with more on the way. Her surviving children are: Roger and his wife Michelle in San Diego; Brenda Smith in Tulsa; Joe and his wife Mi Ra in St Simons Island, Georgia; and David and his wife Mary; Richard and his wife Nesty; and Patrick in Ponca City. Her surviving grandchildren include: Natalie Blackwell-Tervo of Chandler, Arizona; Daniel Blackwell of Gilbert, Arizona; Crystal Downs of Collinsville, Oklahoma; Rachel DeRycke of San Antonio, Texas; Megan Johnson of Spring, Texas; Rory O'Gorman of Spring, Texas; Kelly Mizerak of Raleigh, North Carolina; Magnus O'Gorman of St Simons Island, Georgia; Hannah Blackwell of Shidler, Oklahoma; David Blackwell of Batavia, Ohio; Laura Parker of Harrah, Oklahoma; Angela Schacknies of Ponca City, Oklahoma; Jacquelynn Blackwell of Ponca City; Raymond Blackwell of Ponca City; and Carrie Ann Blackwell-Arel of Ponca City. Her brother Robert Baker lives in San Jose, California and her sister Marilynn Rich in Syracuse, New York. Jackie, her Jack Russell Terrier, will stay with her granddaughter Carrie. Betty's family that passed before her include her parents, Roger and Arlene Gorman of Herman Pond, Maine; her sister Joyce Simpson of Portland, Maine; her son, Timothy Blackwell of West Palm Beach, Florida; and her granddaughters Paula and Gayla Blackwell of Ponca City, Oklahoma. Betty, born on July 17, 1931 in Bangor, Maine, grew up with her parents, Roger and Arlene Gorman, in Maine and New Hampshire. After graduating from Charleston High School in New Hampshire, she attended civilian nurse training, she eventually much later completing her master's degree. She then enlisted as a nurse in the Navy during the Korean War. She married, and 16 years later divorced, Richard Blackwell of Marland, Oklahoma. As a Navy wife, she lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portsmouth, Virginia; Key West, Florida; both Mystic Seaport and Groton, Connecticut; before moving to and living for 47 years in Ponca City, Oklahoma. A five-foot tall, slender woman with curly red-hair, Betty was best described as passionately involved with her family, but mostly said to be feisty, even during her last week of her life. She did not spare straight speech; she did not spare herself; and she did not spare her energy as in her devotion for her family, she constantly stayed connected by visiting from coast to coast and calling when she could not be there in person. As a businesswoman and an artist, Betty matched her business ventures with her personality: She brought diverse people and pieces together in sales, in art, and in life. She tailored wedding dresses for almost 50 years helping young women make their dreams of gorgeous dresses come true without the reality of going broke doing it. She created and sold beautiful silver and turquoise jewelry and as a ceramic artisan, she produced ceramics for decades. She owned a restaurant, a sandwich vending business, and a bookstore. For over three decades, she focused on textile art, and towards the end of her life she expressed her regret that she had not spent her entire life quilting; however, beyond the pieces she sold, she left her children and grandchildren with a quilt made especially for each one. When she went to church, she went to Lutheran Church, where she taught Sunday school and had all her children baptized, and when she went to play, she went to poker night with her friends. Along the way, she loved listening to R&B, Country, and the music of New Orleans. Both of Betty's parents, before they passed, requested at their final service, the reading of Tennyson poem's "Crossing the Bar". Betty believed in this line from Tennyson's poem: "And may there be no sadness of farewell, when I embark." In accordance with this belief, she wanted her body cremated and her ashes spread at sea by loved ones. To honor her, this March, there will be a simultaneous scattering of her ashes from beachside in both St Simons Island, Georgia into the Atlantic Ocean and from La Jolla, California into the Pacific Ocean. At these services, her family will recall that her life was measured more in the many inspirations over the years she gave to others, than her many years of respirations taken for herself. To define heroism, her family did not need to turn the pages of a dictionary, instead they turned to Betty and how as a single mother she raised seven children, while managing her businesses and making her art. Like the quilts she made, Betty took the pieces of her family and stitched them together with strong threads of love to make her last and most lasting quilt-her family.