Betty Nichols Wren
Betty Nichols Wren, 97, passed into a new venture of her importance on Thursday, Feb. 1.
Betty was born in Lock Haven on August 30, 1920. Her parents Albert C and Ella B Nichols were also parents of Betty’s sister Phyllis (Gardner) who resides in Roanoke, Va. and is 89.
Her childhood was rather uneventful with paper dolls, dress-ups with friends, long walks with her mother shopping or visiting friends and family. She frequently commented on the “olden days” where there were no shopping malls, no movies on Sundays, many festivals and parades (where the American Flag flew high respectfully), and the “iceman cometh” to keep the non-electric refrigerator cold.
Graduating from Lock Haven High School in 1938, she entered the world of employed women, earning $85/mo for the PA Department of Highway in Harrisburg. After several years of homesickness, she returned home to work for PP&L. This is where she met her lifelong love, Frederick E. Wren, who preceded her in death in 2007, at the age of 90. After 2¢ years of dating, and while Fred attended Echols College of Embalming and interned at the local funeral home, they decided to marry.
At this same time, WWII began and Fred entered into the Army Air Corp, going to war as a lieutenant. Not to be deterred after Fred was stationed in Arizona, Betty took off by bus, train and sheer luck and she married Fred on May 29, 1943, at Davis Mountain Field in Tucson, Ariz. The ceremony was immediately followed by several years apart while Fred served in Africa, Italy and the Mediterranean.
Betty returned home, resuming work in multiple retail shops, and beginning a lifetime of volunteering for the local Red Cross. She served all areas of the organization over the course of more than 20 years. She was also a woman of faith, a member of the Lutheran Church and serving its members in any way she could. Lifetime Penn State fans, the young couple enjoyed attending games during football season.
After the war, they had their only child, Jeffrey N. Wren who resides in Fayetteville. Several years later Fred began work with Betty’s father, Albert Nichols in his contracting business. Betty worked at the local AAA office as a means to help their son become the first college graduate in their family, from Penn State of course.
Betty and Fred moved to Carlisle, Pa. after retiring to live and work in an eldercare community. Betty started the first resident sponsored and run gift shop, which still after 30 years is very successful for the community. Fred helped begin a local gardening hobby on some underutilized land that is still a great pleasure to the residents.
Betty is survived by her sister Phillis of Roanoke Va.;, son Jeffrey N. Wren of Fayetteville; three granddaughters and five great grandchildren, Kathryn E. Martin, Emily and Tyler of Raeford N.C.; Jessica E. Wren of Knightdale N.C.; Bethany W. Rollins, Lily, Landon and Violet of Apex N.C.
She lived a full and rewarding life, greeting everyone with a warm smile. She was a deeply loving mother and friend, always lending help where needed. She had a memory like no other and some of the best times were had listening to her recount the family’s history and her personal memories for her grandchildren. She will be missed by all who had the privilege to know her and will live on in their lives and hearts forever.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018 at 3 p.m. in Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home in Fayetteville N.C.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to ‘Cumberland Crossings Nursing Scholarship Fund’ at 1 Longsdorf Way, Carlisle Pa. 17015.