Betty Mary Ellen Croft


Betty Mary Ellen Croft, 94, of Oregon died April 9, 2021 in Pinecrest Manor Nursing Home, Mt. Morris. Born Nov. 23, 1926, in Leaf River, daughter of Milford Lewis (M.L.) and Eva (Welty) Croft. 

Graduating Valedictorian from Leaf River High School in 1944, Croft went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Latin with Bronze Tablet Honors from the University of Illinois. She worked in the University Library while earning advanced degrees in The Classics and Library Science.  Continuing in the Library, in 1960 she became head of the Catalogue Dept. for the 3rd largest university library in the country, holding this responsibility until retirement as a full professor in 1977. Betty took a brief time off before accepted a position as Technical Advisor for Northwest Missouri State University Library in Maryville, Mo., her last two years as Director of the Library.

From Maryville, Betty returned to Ogle County where she became known as a “Tourism Advocate” for Oregon, producing brochures about Oregon’s rich heritage, informing visitors to the Information Booth, and encouraging others at the foot of the Black Hawk statue to support its restoration.

Betty is survived by Nephews: Robert (Tonya) Croft Jr.  of Boulder, Colo.; John (Karna) Croft of Normal; Nieces: Patricia Engle of Rock Island; Sue Ellen Croft of Oregon; and Crystal (Tim) DePuy of Port St. Joe, Fla.; and Grand nephews and nieces; and their families.

Predeceased by her parents, her stepmother, Fern Davis Croft, brother, Robert E. Croft, sister, Bonnie M. Carlstrom.

A graveside service was held 11 a.m., Friday, April 16, 2021 at the Silver Creek Cemetery near Leaf River. Memorial Donations may be made to;

* Black Hawk:  c/o  Oregon Together, P.O. Box 574, Oregon, IL 61061 (write “Black Hawk” on memo line),

* Serenity Hospice, 1658 S. Illinois Route 2, Oregon, IL 61061 or to

* Pinecrest Community, 414 S. Wesley Ave., Mt. Morris, IL  61054.

Farrell-Holland-Gale Funeral Home, Oregon, assisted with arrangements. Visit