Betty Louise (Peek) Dunn died Nov. 5, 2010 at the age of 82 with expert, compassionate care at the Rose Arbor Hospice Care Center in Kalamazoo. She was born March 6, 1928 in her family farmhouse in Centreville, the daughter of Frank and Mildred (Cavanaugh) Peek.
Seven decades ago, during the height of WWII, Betty wanted to become a registered nurse and needed a degree from an accredited high school. So she left home as a teenager to live with family friends, Marge and Ford Rogers, and graduated from Three Rivers High School in 1946, enabling her admission into Kalamazoo’s Bronson School of Nursing. She earned her RN degree from Bronson in 1949, making friends she would keep throughout her life. Also in 1949 after a chance meeting at a dance in Kalamazoo, Betty married James Dunn, who preceded her in death in 1977.
She worked for many years with Drs. Schimnoski, O’Dell and Penzotti at Three Rivers Medical Clinic and formed a tight group of friends with nurses and staff there who were a second family to her three children, who also graduated from Three Rivers High School. In 1979, she moved to the pediatrics unit at Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo. She moved to Ludington in 1988 and ended her distinguished career at Ludington Memorial Hospital. She enjoyed walking through the woods and on the beaches with her many dogs, children and grandchildren. A particular favorite was the hike at Ludington State Park, ending up at the Hamlin Lake Dam watching the salmon run. She found many Petoskey stones at Buttersville Beach on Lake Michigan, which was just down the road from her woodland home that she nicknamed “Golden Pond” because of the perfect spot for ducks and geese. She made many good friends in Ludington, including Evie Lucas and Doris Johnson, and she worked diligently for the Friends of Animals. A philanthropist in every sense of the word, she gave of herself selflessly and naturally.
She is survived by sons, Michael (Marsha Meyer) of Richland and Kevin (Leslie) of Grand Rapids; daughter, Margaret (Ken) Morris of Hilo, Hawaii; granddaughter, Keeley; grandson, Chance; nieces, nephews and several cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Bobby and sister, Yuvon, who also was one of her closest friends. In accordance with Betty’s wishes a private family service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Rose Arbor Hospice Care Center.