Elizabeth "Betty" (Thompson) Percival

Paul and Betty Percival - 1938
Paul and Betty Percival - 1938

Paul and Betty - 1963 - 25th Anniversary
Paul and Betty - 1963 - 25th Anniversary

Paul and Betty Percival - 1988 - 50th Anniversary
Paul and Betty Percival - 1988 - 50th Anniversary

Paul and Betty Percival - 1998 - 60th Anniversary
Paul and Betty Percival - 1998 - 60th Anniversary

Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project
Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

(July 21, 1919 - February 14, 2005)


The Lusk Herald
March, 2005


Betty Percival

A celebration of the life of Betty Percival, age 85, will be held in Lusk on Monday, Feb. 21, 2 p.m. at St. George's Episcopal Church with Father Cliff More officiating. Interment will follow in the Lusk Cemetery. She died on Feb. 14, 2005, in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Elizabeth "Betty" Thompson Percival was born July 21, 1919, on the Thompson ranch 15 miles east of Sundance, on the Rifle PIT divide, to Hugh and Edith Thompson. She attended one year of training at Black Hills State Teachers College in Spearfish, S.D., and was certified to teach. Betty taught school in Crook County and at Indian Creek School in Niobrara County.

Her early home atmosphere was political with her father taking an active role in county activities so it was second nature for Betty to care about politics. She remembered being allowed to stay up quite late to listen to their Crosby radio and hear Herbert Hoover campaign against Calvin Coolidge. She continued to pay close attention to political events and never missed voting at an election.

On Oct. 15, 1938, in Deadwood, S. D. she eloped with Paul P. Percival in a double-ring ceremony with her best friend.

In 1945, Betty and Paul moved to the Percival Family ranch near Lusk. She described being a rancher's wife as "always a challenge and never dull," ready to ride a horse, move some cows, ride a tractor, or just ride along in the pickup to the south 40 to check fences. She and Paul lived on a ranch for 34 years and in 1979 they retired and moved to Lusk, spending most of their winters in California.

Betty was the leader of many organizations throughout her life, including Matron of Eastern Star, lay reader at the Episcopal Church, state library chairman, Niobrara County Club Ladies President, Niobrara Homemakers Council President, Niobrara American Cancer Society President, Cowbelles Group 1 and 2 President, and State President of the Wyoming Cowbelles in 1972. She was active both locally and statewide in politics and presided as the state President of the Wyoming Federated Republican Women from 1971 to 1981. Betty served as Wyoming's Delegate at several National Republican Conventions. She was also active in Niobrara County's cancer drives, the Episcopal Daughters of the King, P.E.O. Chapter 1, 4-H leader, and was a member of the Indian Creek Bridge Club for more than 55 years.

Survivors include her daughter Dorothy Rae Whiteaker and her husband Don, of Lusk; son Bill Percival and his wife Gayleen of Palm Desert, Calif.; grandchildren, Marybeth Whiteaker Nelson and husband Jerry, of Broomfield, Colo.; Thomas Whiteaker and his wife Marah, of San Ramon, Calif.; Krista Percival Aldrich and husband Piet, of Del Mar, Calif.; great grandchildren, Jeffrey, Joseph, and Abby Nelson, Nicholas Whiteaker and Holden Aldrich; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband Paul, of 65 years; her parents, brother Bill Thompson and sisters, Marion Thompson and Lucyellen Suporn.

A memorial has been established to St. George's Episcopal Church. Cicmanec Pier Funeral Home of Lusk is in charge of funeral arrangements.








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