Betty Lou (Honn) Pulliam ~ Whitehead

Born: Fri., Mar. 8, 1929
Died: Mon., Jun. 26, 2017


10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Sat., Sep. 30, 2017
Location: Grace United Methodist Church

Celebration of Life

11:00 AM Sat., Sep. 30, 2017
Location: Grace United Methodist Church

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Music by The Piano Brothers


     Betty Lou Honn was born on March 8, 1929 in Mattoon, Illinois, the only daughter of Edna (Bennett) and Forrest Honn.  When Betty was  10, her mother was united in marriage to John Clark of Newton.  In John, Betty gained a wonderful father, as well as a loving sister, 12 year old Lois and later, their brother Tom.

Betty graduated from Newton High School, where she excelled in academics and music, participating in chorus and band, as well as being Drum Majorette.  She made many lifelong friends, including her future husband, Bill.

Betty was married on July 17, 1947 to Harvey W. (Bill) Pulliam.  The marriage was blessed with a son, Timothy J. Pulliam.  Betty was a busy young wife and mother, who was active in community affairs.   She was a den mother for Tim’s Cub Scouts and was proud when he became an Eagle Scout.  She was an active member of the Newton Women’s Club and of PEO.  
Following Bill’s tragic accident in 1965, Betty stepped in to the management of the Pulliam Insurance Agency, along with her brother Tom. She proved to be a successful businesswoman,  well respected in her field.  It was in the insurance business that she became acquainted with Paul Whitehead of Peoria.  Following their marriage in September of 1982 in Newton, they resided in Peoria until Paul’s retirement, at which time they built a new home in a golf community of Lakeland, Florida.

Betty’s Christian faith was an important aspect of her life.  She was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian church, always involved in the life of the church, wherever she lived.  She had a beautiful voice and loved singing in the choir.  She was a member of Presbyterian Women and served as an Elder.  In 1975, she was honored to serve as a delegate from Southeastern Illinois Presbytery to the General Assembly.  

Betty loved activity.  For years, she bowled in a league at Newton.  She was an avid golfer in Newton and at Lakeland.  She loved to dance and usually accompanied Bill to his gigs in the days of the Pulliam dance band.  Big Band music of the 30’s & 40’s remained her favorite musical genre.   In Lakeland, she walked every day in her community.  When she had company, she loved to walk at one of the many trails in Lakeland, pointing out alligators, and stopping for each exercise station along the way.   She was an avid traveler,  and enjoyed adding to her collection of coins, spoons and souvenir plates.  She was always eager to see and experience new things.  She rode a camel in Morocco.  She and Paul went for a hot air balloon ride for their 20th wedding anniversary.

Betty was friendly and caring to others, and never ever met a stranger.  Her love for people was phenomenal, especially her love for her family.   Betty had a true gift for hospitality and loved hosting family holidays. She was a great cook and baker, always willing to provide food for church and friends.   But her main pride was in her son Tim, his wife Tina and their children Tamara Soto, Tiffany Aune and Todd Pulliam.  She loved sharing pictures, telling of their activities and achievements.  She was the proud Great grandmother of 11, and  Great-great grandmother of one.  

Betty passed away unexpectedly on June 26, 2017 at Santa Clarita, CA, where she had recently moved to be nearer to her son.   Preceding her in death are her parents, both husbands and infant son, Larry Allen.  In addition to her son’s family, surviving are her sister Lois (Oren) Mulvany of Lawrenceville and brother Tom (Pat) Clark of Newton, nieces & nephews: Bob Cox of Greenup,  Carol Cox McClave of PA, Dianne Cox (Bill) Ballinger of TN, John Cox of Olney, Nancy Jamerson (Chuck)and David (Deb) Cox of Newton, Pam Clark (Tom) Cooper of Indianapolis, Mike Clark of Newton and Becky Clark (Tom) Miller of Robinson, scores of cousins and friends who will miss her infectious smile, her contagious laughter and especially, her hugs.

Graveside rites will follow the Celebration of Life Service at Riverside Cemetery, Newton, IL.

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