Elizabeth “Betty” J. (Smiley) Anderson, 90, of Belle Fourche, died peacefully Sunday, October 8th, 2023 at Rolling Hills Healthcare in Belle Fourche.
Betty was born March 13th, 1933 in Belle Fourche to R.A. and Mary (Huntley) Smiley. While in High School, she performed as a majorette for the Belle Fourche High School Marching Band and was also very involved in the Bit & Spur Riding Club & Quadrille Team. Betty maintained a lifelong, close relationship with many of her Class of ’51 classmates.
After graduating high school, she went on to pursue a teaching degree at the University of South Dakota. During this time, she met and married William E. Anderson who was attending law school. They were married in Belle Fourche on August 14th, 1953, and upon graduating from USD, Betty and Bill traveled to Fort Benning, GA and Fort Carson, CO where Bill completed his Army ROTC obligation and Betty taught in the elementary schools at each Army Post of assignment. Upon Bill’s completion of service, they returned to Belle Fourche where Bill joined Betty’s father, R.A. Smiley in practicing law, and they started their own family in their home west of town.
Betty made the house outside of town a hub of activity. Holiday events, birthday parties for 4 boys, numerous crafts (projects) and countless social group meetings were regularly attended by many. She never had only one event in the works; she always had multiple projects in the works, concurrently. She always ensured the house was never without pets, large or tiny.
Her most life-long passion was collecting, repairing, and making dolls. It didn’t matter if a doll was cloth or porcelain, or anything in-between, she would ensure even the smallest feature was true to form and displayed as it should.
Betty and Bill divorced in 1988 and she started her next life chapter in the hospitality field, working in Connecticut for Delta Airlines and then to Breckinridge Colorado where she worked for the Beaver Run Resort. She returned to Rapid City in 1994 and worked as a teacher’s aide until her retirement.
Betty enjoyed traveling and staying active in many social groups. She was a 75-year member of PEO, Rapid City Doll Club, Rapid City Red Hat Ladies, AFS and multiple career-related organizations in which she was always an active member. She was preceded in death by her parents, R.A. and Mary Smiley, younger sister, Marilyn J. (Smiley) Huntsinger and her eldest son, Robert M. Anderson.
She is survived by her 3 sons, Wm. Blaine (Colleen) Anderson, Belle Fourche, SD and their children Alex (Bridget & Sebastian) Anderson and Kathryn Anderson; Christopher J. (Autumn) Anderson, Lead, SD and their children Mitchell and Brett, and Eric E. (Amanda) Anderson, Connelly Springs, NC and their children Erica, Liam and Cooper.
A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, November 9th, 2023 at 11:00 am, at the Belle Fourche Congregational-UCC church at 717 Kingsbury Street, with Pastor Chuck Aurand officiating. Arrangements are under the care of Kline Funeral Chapel in Belle Fourche.
In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established in Elizabeth’s name.