MOORHEAD, Minn. - Betty L. Kuka, 84, a longtime Havre resident and elementary school teacher, died quietly Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2003, a Fargo, N.D. hospital.
A private memorial service in Moorhead has been held and a date for a memorial service in Havre is to be announced.
Betty was born Archie and Betty
Lou Richey Taylor on Aug. 2, 1919, in Richey. She grew up in Frazer, where her father was the depot agent for the Great Northern Railway. Upon graduation from Frazer High School in 1937, she attended Northern Montana College, where she obtained her original teaching certificate. Her first teaching assignments took her to Westby and Nashua in northeastern Montana. While commuting by train to and from the family home in Frazer, she met her husband to be, Tom J. Kuka, a recently returned WWII veteran from Havre who was working in Frazer for the Great Northern.
They were married on June 17, 1945.
After a short stay in the Fort Peck area, Betty and Tom made their permanent home in Havre. Betty began teaching in Havre in 1948 and taught first grade for 25 of the next 28 years. She took great pride in having earned a master's degree in elementary education and starting three generations of Havre children off on their scholastic careers. Betty lived for the last six years at an assisted living facility in Moorhead. Betty did spend the last six months of her life being cared for at home by her daughter, Linda.
Betty will be remembered for her selfless dedication to children of all ages, her strong commitment to her family, and her sparkling personality. She very much enjoyed taking road trips to spend time with Linda and Tom's families, working in ceramics, reading, baking, playing her cherished piano and watching Jeopardy.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Archie and Laura Taylor; husband, Tom; brother, Archie Taylor; and sister, Cleo Strand.
Survivors include her brother, Dick Taylor, of Dover, Del.; daughter, Linda (Jim) Morrow of Moorhead, Minn.; son, Tom M. (SharlaRae) Kuka of Bozeman; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A memorial fund has been established for the Alzheimer's Association and can be forwarded c/o Tom M. Kuka, 402 E. Granite Ave., Bozeman, MT 59718.