Betty Louise Pinney Laramore died at age 93 on September 28, 2022, at Otterbein Franklin Senior Living Community, where she had resided for nine years.
She was born April 19, 1929, in South Bend to Carroll L. and Nettie Mitzner Pinney. She graduated from Riley High School and attended Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. While in high school, and for a year after graduation, she worked in the editorial department of the South Bend Tribune.
On June 25, 1950, in South Bend she married William F. Laramore and moved into the house on Ferndale Street in Plymouth the couple had built before they were married and where she lived for 63 years. She spent more than 30 years working at Bosworth’s, the retail store founded in 1891 by her husband’s grandfather, retiring as merchandise manager in 1983. Bosworth’s was an important business in Marshall County for nine decades, and Bill and Betty Lou were devoted to customer service and caring for their employees. Betty Lou personally ensured that dozens of Marshall County brides had perfect weddings, and she supervised the fashion review at the county 4-H fair for decades. Bosworth’s pioneered providing medical insurance to its employees.
Survivors include her son Jon (Janet McCabe), son-in-law Randolph Johns, grandchildren Alice Laramore (Adam Paltrineri) of Boston, MA, Dan Sheehan (Bri Booram) and Peter Laramore, both of Indianapolis, great-grandchildren Remy Laramore and Jack Paltrineri, five nieces and three nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, daughter Ann Laramore Johns, brothers Wilbur and Donald Pinney, sister Leah Collins Heiderich, and in-laws George and Jean Schricker. She loved hosting family meals featuring produce from her garden.
Betty Lou was devoted to helping people and making Plymouth a better community. She was a founding director and first secretary of the Marshall County Community Foundation, actively involved in raising more than three million dollars to match the initial Lilly Foundation grant. She co-chaired the drive to raise a million dollars for the new Holy Cross Parkview Hospital (now St. Joseph Health System Plymouth Medical Center). She was an active member of First United Methodist Church and its choir and co-chaired the 1998 drive that raised more than $600,000 to renovate the sanctuary building.
As a community leader, at various times she served as president of the Board of Trustees of the Plymouth Community School Corp., Indiana Public Television Society, Ancilla College Board of Directors, PIDCO, Holy Cross Parkview Hospital Auxiliary, and the local United Way and Tri Kappa active and associate chapters, often the first woman board president. She was a director of United Telephone Company of Indiana (now CenturyLink), Holy Cross Parkview Hospital, St Joseph’s Care Foundation, Plymouth Community Improvement Commission, and the Indiana Medical and Nursing Distribution Loan Fund.
For ten years she was a member of the board of Michiana Public Broadcasting Corp., which manages WNIT television, and in 1992 was named Outstanding Auction Volunteer. In 2007 she was honored by the WNIT board of directors for more than 20 years of “exceptional service to the station.” She produced the Politically Speaking program on WNIT for several years. The National Friends of Public Broadcasting honored her with the Elaine Peterson Special Achievement Award in 1995.
With her husband, she received the Plymouth Jaycees Distinguished Citizen Award in 1972, the Ancilla College Distinguished Service Award in 1983, the Community Spirit Award given by then-St. Joseph Regional Medical Center Plymouth in 2003; and the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizen Award in 2005. She was honored by Gov. Joseph E. Kernan as a Sagamore of the Wabash in 2004.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, October 6, 2022 from 12-2 pm at the Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home, 1100 N. Michigan Street, Plymouth. Funeral services will immediately follow with Pastor Lauren Hall officiating.
Please click the link below to live-stream the funeral service on Thursday, October 6th at 2 PM:
Burial will be in the New Oak Hill Cemetery, Plymouth.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to First United Methodist Church, c/o Marshall County Community Foundation, P.O. Box 716, Plymouth, IN 46563 or United Way of Marshall County, P.O. Box 392, Plymouth, IN 46563.
Linda Langfeldt says
Betty Lou made a real difference at First United Methodist Church! We were blessed to have her as a leader for many years!
Ren and Beverly Van Gilder says
Betty Lou, was a true lady. She showed her love, for this community, by her generous
commitment to others.
Ren and Beverly Van Gilder 🍁🍁🍁
Carol Apple Ammerman Steele says
Worked with Betty Lou many years ago on the 4-H dress revue. She was competent, precise and a fine lady who had an influence on my life.
Greg and Diana Nielsen says
Our condolences to the Laramore family. It was very nice getting to know them as we served on the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Catch the Spirit Gala committee, with Mark Neidig. May you find comfort in the many wonderful memories that you hold in your heart.
Barb Lowry says
Betty was always a classy lady with a smile. She was a true example of a Christian life well lived. Condolences to her family.
Mark Mitzner says
Betty Lou was one of my first cousins and will be missed by all. We were related in two ways as Nettie Mitzner Pinney was my Grandfathers sister
There are now only 3 first cousins left. David Jordan, Joyce Smith and myself
Randy Johns says
I wanted to share my condolences, thoughts, and prayers with family and friends during
this time. Betty Lou was about love, family, church, and community. As her son-in-law, I
was blessed to have the relationship that I had with her. I wish that I could be with you
in person on Thursday. However, due to my own current health issues, I am not able to
attend: but will watch the streaming and think of you all during the service.
Phil and Sylvia Bieghler says
Betty Lou’s life has been an example, for so many, of true servanthood. We have been so blessed and fortunate to have known her.
Joan Joyce says
Jon and Family,
I wish to express my sympathy for the loss of your mother, a greatly admired and respected lady who was a pillar in our community. Every position Betty Lou was in, and every task she undertook, was done exceptionally well in a calm and friendly manner Those who knew her will always remember her as a great lady.
Bill and Marilyn Fortin says
So sorry for your loss. We. were friends for many years and enjoyed her letter every Christmas. We will miss her. She and Bill were very special people. Of course think of all the years at Bosworths. Our deepest sympathy.
Carolyn Hilles-Pilant says
My husband Keith and I watched the streamed memorial from London and were grateful for the chance to be part of honoring and celebrating the life of a remarkable person.
Betty Lou Laramore was my next door neighbor for my entire life in Plymouth. She was perhaps the most self-disciplined and organized person I knew when I was growing up. She was generous with her garden produce and her time; a never-failing good spirit; one of those solid salt-of-the-earth citizens who made her community a better place to live. Her engagement and attention to others was remarkable. I am grateful to have known her.
Carolyn & Keith Hilles-Pilant
Chuck Spencer says
Betty was a very special person to our Family. Mom and I worked at Boswoth’s with Betty Lou and Bill and they we the best employers. Betty Lou was a special friend to our entire family. A gifted community leader and dedicated supporter of education. She will be greatly missed. Our prayers and thoughts are wit you Jon and the rest your family.