Betty Reading – UPDATED

Funeral services for 91-year old Betty Reading of Chadron, NE, are Monday, August 16, 2021 at 10:00 at St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Chadron.

Burial is in the Calvary Cemetery in Chadron.

A vigil will be held Sunday, August 15, at 7:00 PM, also at St Patrick’s Catholic Church.

Betty Reading passed away August 12, 2021, at Chadron Community Hospital.

A memorial has been established for the CSC Newman Center. Donations may be sent in care of Chamberlain Chapel, PO Box 970, Chadron, NE 69337

Online condolences may be left at

Betty Reading, a Chadron resident her entire life, was born at Chadron Municipal Hospital on February 22, 1930, to Lura (Clayton) and John Feldhausen. She died August 12, 2021 at Chadron Community Hospital. 

Betty’s father was a conductor for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad and her mother maintained order around the house after being an early graduate of the Chadron Normal School and teaching at rural schools in Wyoming and South Dakota.

Even at an early age, Betty enjoyed traveling and talked often of train trips with her parents. Some were visits to family in the Black Hills while others to California and places in between. These early journeys instilled a life-long sense of adventure and desire to see new places.

Betty learned to play the clarinet as a fifth grader.  While never a professional musician, music and the clarinet became an important part of her life.  When the Bordeaux Community Band formed in the 1990s, she was one of the first members.  

For over twenty years she enjoyed both rehearsals and performances with the Band as well as the friendships she developed with her fellow musicians.  She reluctantly retired from the Band when arthritis made it difficult to play the clarinet.

Betty attended Chadron Public Schools from first grade through high school graduation in 1947.  After attending Chadron Normal School for a short time, she married John Reading at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Chadron on her birthday in 1949.  A year or so later, her son John Michael was born followed a few years later by daughter Joanne and then son Steve.

Family vacations were often camping trips with a small pop-up camper pulled by a Rambler station wagon. During the summer, Betty would organize weekend trips to the Black Hills at Bismarck Lake, her favorite spot. 

She would also organize a longer trip each summer to places like Glacier or Olympic National Parks. Even after her husband, John, passed away in 1969, she continued family camping adventures and purchased a newer model camper with some enhanced amenities. 

After John’s death, Betty returned to work at Chadron Schools and then later at Chadron Community Hospital. She eventually became director of medical records after earning her degree, and was active in several professional organizations. 

She enjoyed traveling to state and national conferences and conventions for both the camaraderie as well as career development. 

After retiring Betty, spent much of her time gardening and traveling.  Her fondness of Ireland was evident as she visited the country on five occasions. Her most memorable trips were with her family and friends. 

A “foodie” before the term was widely used, Betty enjoyed trying different foods when she traveled and could describe meals (both good and bad) in intricate detail. 

Betty was an active member of St Patrick’s Church and served on the parish council and, at various times, other committees.

She enjoyed meeting college students through the Newman House and developed many friendships with them over the years and kept up with them after graduation.  Her involvement with the Newman House was one of her most rewarding experiences. 

Betty was preceded in death by her husband John, her son John Michael, her parents Lura and John Feldhausen, and her brother Clayton Feldhausen. 

She is survived by her daughter Joanne Schulte of Elkhorn, NE, son Steve (Arlene) Reading of Atlanta, GA, and daughter-in-law Kay (Wendel) Marley of Arimo, ID as well as nine grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.

Chamberlain Chapel of Chadron is in charge of arrangements for Betty Reading.