Betty L. (Elder) Wood

Betty L. (Elder) Wood, 82, of Indiana, reunited with her husband on September 21, 2014, after a valiant effort to fight a sudden illness. Born in Sligo, PA on May 4, 1932, she was the daughter of the late Ralph E. Elder and Twila M. (Taylor) Elder. She was the widow of Harry L. “Bo” Wood, who died August 13, 2005. They had been married just one week shy of 50 years.

Betty earned her B.S. in Home Economics Education and her M.S. in Clothing and Textiles from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She taught Home Economics at Indiana Area High School and IUP’s School of Continuing Education prior to her stellar career at IUP where she was an Associate Professor of Consumer Services and Clothing Design. She developed and coordinated the internship program for IUP’s Consumer Services Department.

During her tenure at IUP, spanning 22 years from 1969 to 1991, Betty co-authored grant proposals for the expansion of the university’s cooperative education program resulting in over a quarter-million dollars in awards. She was an Institutional Representative for the National Society for Internships and Experimental Education and presented and published in her areas of expertise. She chaired the College of Home Economics Curriculum Committee and initiated and co-sponsored IUP’s Campus Council on Consumer Affairs and the Consumer Services Advisory Board.

Betty was a member of the IUP Alumni Association Board of Directors 1996-2000. She was a member and former advisor of the Sigma Kappa Sorority, as well as a member of Kappa Omicron Phi, the Home Economics Honorary Fraternity.

Betty was honored with the College of Human Ecology and Health Sciences Outstanding Teacher award upon retirement from IUP in 1991. In 1997, she was the recipient of the Athena Award, recognizing her commitment as a life-long teacher, mentor, and community leader. In 2011 she was a Distinguished Honoree of the Indiana Wrestling Boosters.

A tireless and dedicated volunteer, Mrs. Wood served as president of the Advisory Board of the Indiana County Bureau of Consumer Affairs. She supervised the first Breezedale Historic Exhibit (Historic Costumes) and was asked to judge numerous beauty and talent contests, from Miss IUP to Miss Evergreen. Betty was a seamstress for many and delighted in her fine detailed work on wedding attire. She also volunteered at St. Andrews Village, Meals on Wheels, and Grace United Methodist Church.

As an avid competitor, Betty medaled in the Sr. Olympics after she offered to simply fill rosters. She was an excellent marksman, ice skater, saxophonist, ping-pong and sudoku player.

She is survived by her daughters: Julie B. Kim & husband, Dong K. Kim, Arlington, VA and Gretchen Lanette Johnson & husband, Thomas G. Johnson, Indiana, PA. Her surviving grandchildren are: Taylor Malcolm Johnson and Töve Marie Johnson.

In addition to her husband and parents, Betty was preceded in death by her brother, Robert J. Elder.

A Service of Celebration will begin at 2:30 Sunday afternoon, September 28th at the Grace United Methodist, Indiana. Pastor Kathy Mihoerck will officiate. In keeping with Betty’s wishes, a Tea Reception will be held in the Church Fellowship Hall immediately following. A private burial will be made at the Greenwood Cemetery, Indiana.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to one of the following: The Betty Wood Scholarship Award, Fund # 0235, Sutton Hall, Room 301, 1011 South Drive, Indiana, PA 15705, or make your donation online at iup.edu ; Donations may also be made to the Grace United Methodist Church Food Bank, 712 Church St, Indiana, PA 15701.


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