I noticed the restaurant closed on 'Halloween'. That's the date of my divorce! I also noticed another date - October 14th, which is the date Betty died; that's my daughter's birthday.
Kearney — Betty J. (Whitney) Connell, 75, of Kearney died Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2003, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Monday at St. James Catholic Church in Kearney. The Rev. Charles Torpey will officiate. Burial will be in the Kearney Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the church, with a prayer vigil at 7 p.m.
O'Brien-Straatmann-Apfel Funeral Home of Kearney is in charge of arrangements.
Mrs. Connell was born on Oct. 26, 1927, in Kearney to Wert D. and Mary (Cassidy) Whitney. She was preceded in death by her husband, Howard. Survivors of the immediate family include a son, Jim of Tucson, Ariz.; a daughter, Elizabeth "Libby" Merrifield of Kearney; two brothers, Carl Whitney of Kearney and Edward Jones of Carlsbad, Calif.; and a sister, Ollie Dady of Kearney. Other survivors include two grandchildren, Kristen and Keyton.
She attended Kearney Public Schools and was a 1945 graduate of Longfellow High School. She was married to Howard "Bud" Connell in Grand Island on May 1, 1948. She worked for Safeway District Offices. In 1952, she and her husband opened and operated Grandpa's Steakhouse until her death. Her husband died in 1993.
She was a member of the church, American Legion and VFW Auxiliary, Nebraska Restaurant Association, Kearney Eagles and DOES. She was also named in "Who's Who of Nebraska" and an honorary member of the Kearney Volunteer Fire Department. Along with her husband, she was preceded in death by three brothers, one sister and two stepsisters.
Memorials are suggested to Kearney Catholic High School Foundation — Bud and Betty Connell Scholarship Fund, American Cancer Society or the Kearney Volunteer Fire Department.