Betty S. Eaton
Betty was born March 27,1953, to Max and Maggie Bond in Phoenix, Arizona.
Due to her parent’s physical disabilities, Betty was placed in custody of Ernest and Naomi Cornelius who eventually adopted her.
She grew up in Battle Ground, Washington. She attended Meadow Glade Elementary school and graduated from Columbia Academy.
She attended Walla Walla College for one year, then married and had a son – Andrews Croft.
That marriage ended in divorce, and as a single mother she attended Central Washington University to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. She was then offered a job teaching for the Michigan Conference at Alma, Michigan.
In 1981, after teaching 3 years, Betty enrolled in summer school classes at Andrews University. Mark, a graduate student on study leave from the Pennsylvania Conference, saw Betty in the cafeteria and decided to make an acquaintance with her. A few days later he saw her at the college food court and tried to strike up a conversation. She was put off by his clumsy effort and made it clear she was not interested. Mark persisted, however, and finally obtained her phone number.
Upon his return to Reading, Pennsylvania, Mark wrote a letter to Betty. He described his childhood and mentioned that he grew up with a dog named Princess that he loved very much. That won Betty’s heart. She later said that if Mark loved his dog, he would most likely be a loyal husband.
Mark and Betty talked on the phone quite a bit. He visited her in November on Thanksgiving break and asked her to marry him in December. She accepted his proposal, and they were married on April 10, 1982.
Betty moved to Hamburg, Pennsylvania, to join Mark. While she was glad to be married to Mark, she was sad that there were no teaching jobs. Two years later, in 1984, Mark was invited to join the Far Eastern Division of Seventh-day Adventists as an assistant treasurer. Mark suggested to Betty that they pray about it, and she responded, “You pray, I’m packing.”
Betty loved adventure, and the opportunity to live and work in Singapore was a dream come true for her. In Singapore their first child, Teresa, was born.
While Betty took care of Teresa, she also worked as editor of the Far Eastern Division Outlook, the official paper of the Far Eastern Division. Betty was a gifted writer and enjoyed the opportunity to share with interested constituents the progress of God’s work in Asia.
After three years in Singapore, Mark was asked to move to Guam and serve as Administrator of the Guam SDA Clinic. In 1988 another child, Susan, was born. When Susan was old enough for kindergarten, Betty decided to start a school in her house. A couple of neighbors asked her to teach their children also. Betty got so many requests that she decided to rent a large house and start a school. This challenged Mark, the risk adverse treasurer, because he had to sign a year’s lease for $18,000. The school grew steadily, however, was quite profitable and at its peak had 45 students and four employees. It was famous on the island for the quality of its program.
After running her school for seven years, both Betty and Mark were tired. They both accepted calls to teach at Indonesia Union College (“Universitas Advent Indonesia). Soon after their arrival in Indonesia in 1997 relations between Muslims and Christians deteriorated. So in 2000 Mark accepted an invitation to serve as treasurer of the Mountain View Conference (West Virginia). At that time Kristianna was born, and Betty took on the dual role of mother and teacher.
In 2003 Mark and Betty transferred to Oklahoma, where Mark served as treasurer of the Oklahoma Conference. Again, there were no teaching jobs in the immediate area, so Betty served as receptionist and newsletter editor for the conference. The conference office was located near a low-income neighborhood and people from the community frequently came to the office asking for help. Betty loved to help them. Mark provided a modest budget from the conference community services fund for her to purchase groceries and other supplies for needy persons. The conference office became well known among social service organizations for its compassion and care for the disadvantaged.
In 2012, Mark accepted a call to serve as treasurer of the Indiana conference. Betty took advantage of the change to complete her Master’s degree in Education. Shortly, after completing her degree in 2013 she was diagnosed with colon cancer.
Betty was confident that with proper medical care she would overcome the cancer. Mark took her to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where she underwent radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. After surgery, tests showed that she was cancer free, but a few months later a spot appeared on her liver. She resumed chemotherapy, but the cancer continued to grow.
Hundreds, possibly thousands, prayed for Betty. She was anointed twice. She was determined as ever to overcome the cancer. In early October, 2016, however, it became evident that the cancer was growing. Even then, Betty refused to give up hope. As late as five days before her death, she told the hospital chaplain that she would recover and return home.
It was her love for her children and grandchildren that kept Betty fighting. She especially wanted to see Kristianna graduate from Indiana Academy and develop her music skills. She loved Kristianna’s cello music and would often ask her to play while in the hospital, especially before going into surgery.
In time it became apparent that God’s plan was to postpone Betty’s healing until the resurrection. From God’s word we know that she will come forth then in perfect health and beauty.
“For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible” 1 Cor 15: 52
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth . . . there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be nor more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Rev 21: 1, 4.