Virginia Elizabeth “Betty” Bycroft, 89, died on January 22, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona surrounded by her children. She was born to Margaret Hart Johnson and Frank Johnson in Battle Creek, Michigan on April 8, 1918. Betty grew up in Evanston, Illinois and graduated from Evanston High School. She moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1947 where she met Harry Bycroft and they fell in love. Betty and Harry were married at St. Francis Xavier Church in Phoenix on November 20, 1948 and settled in Phoenix, where they raised 8 wonderful children. They were married for 37 years until Harry died in March of 1980. At age 55, Betty returned to school to study art and became an accomplished water color artist. Following her retirement from Spellman Hardwoods, Betty focused on her art interests, opening an art studio and offering community art classes. Betty loved literature and music of all kinds and enjoyed these throughout her life. Betty had a passion for travel and was delighted to have taken two dream trips to Ireland and the British Isles. In 1994, Betty moved to Portland, Oregon for several years and enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren there. She returned to Phoenix in 2002 and lived for several years at the Thunderbird Retirement Resort where she had many dear friends. Betty was an active member of St. Matthew’s, St. Gregory’s and St. Raphael’s parishes. Betty is survived by her children Paul Melody, John Janice, Mary, James Cheryl, Mark Nan, Margaret Ryan Bond, Joseph Joni, and Patricia Bill Yehling as well as 14 grand children and 6 great grand children. She is also survived by her brother, Donald Johnson of Flagstaff and several nieces and nephews. Betty was preceded in death by her father, Frank, in 1951, husband, Harry, and mother, Margaret, both in 1980, and her brother, Benjamin Johnson, in 2004. Services will be held on Monday, January 28, 2008, at 1:00 p.m., St. Gregory’s Catholic Church, 3424 N. 18th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ, 85015, with interment at St. Francis Cemetery, 2033 N. 48th Street, Phoenix, AZ, 85008. In lieu of flowers the family requests that contributions be made to Catholic Charities, St. Vincent de Paul or St. Mary’s Food Bank.
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