Betty Lee Green
On the 18th of September 1922, great grandmother Mary Brigham recorded in her diary that a baby girl with a crown of beautiful auburn hair was born to Bula Eddie (Busby) and Ronald Clinton Browning in Armel, Colo. They named her Betty Lee. She was given a special gift—a heavenly voice.
Her singing talent was discovered around the age of 6 and she performed throughout her life. Her father was a barber in Haigler and when she was three, they moved to Wray, Colo. The elementary school had a wonderful music program, and during her youth, she sang for many operettas and assemblies.
Their home was in the shadow of Flirtation Point. She would climb the rocks to a perfect spot and sing with the world as her audience.
When she graduated from Wray High School in 1940, she was given one of the two scholarships based upon her academic merits. She was privileged to attend Colorado State Teachers College in Greeley, Colo.
While in college, she was selected as the lead in the musical “Leave it to Mabel.” She landed this role because of her God given talent and her beautiful red hair, despite not being a music major. She sang with a small band that played for dances in Cheyenne, Wyo. and other cities in Colorado.
After earning a teaching certificate, she taught in Wauneta, Colo., which entailed picking up her four beloved students in her Ford Model A on her way to school. After teaching for a year, she transferred to the County Superintendent’s Office where she became a proficient secretary.
In one of her many stories, she wrote that in the summer of 1942, a spiffy young man named John Gilbert “Gil” Green, son of a railroader, caught her eye. They were married on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, 1942 at the United Methodist Church parsonage in Haigler. Their parents witnessed the short ceremony, and the reception was a Browning family reunion in the house where she was born.
They made their home by the railroad in Wray because Gil, an only child, had grown up on the rails. She spent the next few years at her job until the premature birth of twin girls on Christmas morning, 1946. They were also known as the Green twins.
She sang for many weddings, funerals and the church choir, as well as special celebrations in Wray and the surrounding area. She was a lifelong member of the Wray United Methodist Church. As a member of the Cliff Dwellers Singing and Acting Society, She performed the role of Bloody Mary in the musical “South Pacific” at the Wray Lions Amphitheater.
An important part of her life was being a charter member of Las Viente Women’s Club and Eastern Star. In her later years, she worked for HUD at the Wray Housing Authority as a secretary and retired at the young age of 82.
She created a beautifully decorated home full of laughter and love. Her whole married life was spent in homes on Dexter Street (Hwy. 385) surrounded by churches and always moving closer to the top of the hill throughout the years. The last ten years of her life were spent at Hillcrest Care Center where she received special and loving care from the nurses and staff.
She was gathered into the arms of her loving Lord on April 9, 2017 at the age of 94. Her beautiful auburn hair and angelic voice have now been restored. She was also greeted in Heaven by her parents; husband Gil Green; brother Robert D. Browning; two grandchildren, Kassi Denise Krutsinger and Dustin Duane Wall; and most special friend, Polly Thiringer.
Betty Lee’s life was celebrated in a beautiful service with her twin daughters LaRue (Dennis E.) Krutsinger of Imperial and LuAnn (R. Duane) Wall of Cheyenne, Wyo.; grandchildren Kriss Dennis (Lisa Owens) Krutsinger of Imperial, Karra Lee (Karl) Meeske of Champion, Wendy Denise Wall Lee of Thornton, Colo., and Christine Wall White of Clemmons, N.C.; great-grandchildren Breanna Ashley and fiancé Ross Sueper, Korey Louis, Gabrielle Kristine and Delaney Grace Krutsinger, Blaine David Lee, Kaylee June, Kambree Clair and Krista Lee Meeske, Sydney Elise and Gracie Jane Wall; special sister-in-law Ruth M. Browning; and nephews Tony Scott and Michael Dennis (Joan) Browning.
Even though her immediate family was small, she grew up surrounded by many close aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
She was blessed with so many gifts including her creative writing skills and beautiful handwriting. Over her life she wrote many stories filled with facts and humor.
“God gave me a wonderful gift—a beautiful voice—and with sincere humbleness I say the use of this gift has brought pleasure to others over the years. I was always amazed at how you could take words and a few notes sung softly with expression and capture an audience. Their reaction was like a magic spell.”
A celebration of her life was held on Monday, April 17, 2017, 10:30 a.m. at the Wray United Methodist Church in Wray, Colo., with Pastor Ben Wentworth officiating.
Interment was in the Grandview Cemetery in Wray.
Memorials may be made to the Wray United Methodist Church or Hillcrest Care Center.
Schmidt-Jones Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.