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12/16/2012 6:01:00 AM
Obituary: Betty Shilling
Betty Shilling
Betty Shilling

Betty Jane Shilling passed away Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, with her family by her side at Joan & Diana Hospice Home in Kingman. She was 81.

Betty was born on Feb. 12, 1931, in Chicago to Elizabeth and Edward Kowalski. She remained in Chicago until she enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1951 and was stationed at the U.S. Naval Hospital, Corpus Christi, Texas.

There she met her husband Phil in February 1953, when they fell in love and decided to marry. Phil arranged for approved leave while Betty was officially AWOL when they flew back to Chicago to be married on June 20, 1953. When they were both honorably discharged from the Navy in 1954 they began their life together in Worth, Ill., and started a family.

In 1968, while on vacation out west, they stopped in Kingman and decided to stay. Phil became employed with Citizens Utilities Phone Co. and Betty stayed at home to raise three young boys.

As the boys reached school age, Betty realized her mentally challenged son wasn't receiving the education he should. It was then, in 1970, that Phil and Betty along with some local politicians, business people and physicians, developed and opened the Little Red School House and the Mohave County Retarded Children's Association. When her son could receive qualified instruction through public school, Betty started a career at the Mohave County Assessor's Office and then with Western Electronics and Communications.

After their eldest son was injured in a diving accident in 1983, Betty was the driving force behind a local effort to open Footprints, a fitness center for spinal injury victims. Betty was also instrumental in helping to organize the Kingman Dolphins Swim Team when she and other local families wanted some fun and friendly competition for their children.

Betty never backed down from a challenge. She faced many obstacles throughout her life and never failed to reach her goals, which usually involved her family.

Betty was most proud of her family and was fiercely devoted to her husband and three boys.

Betty is survived by her husband of 59 years, Phillip, and her three sons, Bill, Phillip and John (Maureen), all of Kingman. She also leaves behind her three grandchildren, Sarah Shilling of Flagstaff, John Shilling of Kingman and Keli Shilling of Carson City, Nev., and her great-granddaughter Tuscani, also of Carson City.

Services will be held at Sutton Memorial Funeral home at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18. In lieu of flowers, the family requests for donations to be made to KRMC Hospice.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012
Article comment by: RW Fanire

I`ve known the Shilling Family most of my life .
Betty is a true loss to the folks of Kingman . She was involved as a Scout Mother , when I was in Scouting with her Son , Bill .
The years of dedicated work that she did with special needs kids . The tireless work that she did for Spinal Cord Injury Patients .
If ever there were a Saint among us , it would be her .
I send the Shilling Family my love and respect in their time of grief .


Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Article comment by: Regina Findley (Cook)

Love and prayers to you all. Many memories are flooding my thoughts. What a wonderful friend she was to my Mother and Father and our family.

Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012
Article comment by: Frank & Janet Stein

Our prayers are with you. Betty's smile will be missed.

Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012
Article comment by: Valerie Jensen

Kingman has been very lucky to have counted this amazing woman as one of it's finest. She will be missed. Prayers to the Shilling family.

Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012
Article comment by: Kathy King

My prayers and thoughts are with your family. I really enjoyed the years that Betty and her family came to my hair salon, We had great talks and the enjoyment of her company and her wisdom will never be forgotten.

Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012
Article comment by: Pam Smith

Mr. Shilling,

My prayers for your family she was a wonderful person I always enjoyed the talks we had when you two would come shopping. It was my pleasure to wait on you both. She will always be in our hearts but never forgotten.


Posted: Sunday, December 16, 2012
Article comment by: Laurie Voss Barthlow

Love and prayers to this wonderful family.

Posted: Sunday, December 16, 2012
Article comment by: Ike & Gloria Stevens

Words cannot express our sincerest prayers for you at this time. We are so very sorry for your loss.

Posted: Sunday, December 16, 2012
Article comment by: Sharon Butler

Betty wasa lovely person, cared for all and was ready to help when help was needed.



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