Betty Sue O’Dell Simonson, 82, of Marshall, MO, died Friday, June 1, 2018, at University Hospital and Clinics in Columbia, MO of complications from COPD and related illnesses.
Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 30, 2018, at Campbell-Lewis Chapel in Marshall, with Scott Granneman officiating. Visitation will be held from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Saline Animal League. Friends may sign the online register book at www.campbell-lewis.com.
Born June 28, 1935, in Marshall, Betty Sue was the daughter of the late Edgar Charles Scott and Ruth Elizabeth Cromley Scott, and the younger sister of Charles Marion Scott, who died in infancy in 1930. She was a graduate of Marshall High School and attended Central Missouri State College. In 1955 she won the nation’s 3rd largest beauty pageant and was crowned the Queen of the American Royal in Kansas City, MO.
She left CMSU in 1956 to marry the late Ralph Leonard “Gus” Granneman. Although they divorced in 1976, Betty Sue always included Ralph in holiday dinners and events in later years, and helped him out greatly when he was ill with Alzheimer’s disease. Both actions made an enormous impression on her sons, who learned valuable lessons about compassion and caring by watching how she treated a man she had divorced over a decade earlier.
Ralph and Betty Sue were the parents of two sons, (Ralph) Scott Granneman, married to Robin Woltman and the father of Finn Jaeger (9), and August Leonard Granneman, married to Sepi Hakhamaneshi and father to Ross Granneman (1). Betty Sue loved her grandsons dearly, so much so that her last words before her death were about them.
Betty Sue was married to Earl O’Dell from 1977 until his untimely death in 1984.
In her 60s, Betty Sue became reacquainted with an old friend from decades past, (Walter) Ray Simonson, and they began dating and eventually married in 2002, when he was 76 and she was 67. This marriage meant a great deal to both of them, and they loved being in each other’s company in both Arrow Rock and Marshall until Ray’s death in 2015. For the last three years of her life, Betty Sue spoke often about how much she missed Ray and his love and companionship.
Betty Sue was many things over the course of her life. She was an interior designer at a time when most women did not work outside of the home. In 1980 she started her own business, O’Dell House, which sold antiques and wearable art under the Scott August label. She later branched out into sewing patterns that were sold through McCall’s and other companies. She created a line of stenciled boxes that were sold throughout the world, and which once appeared, to her shock and excitement, as prizes on Wheel of Fortune. She also founded and ran the Arrow Rock Quilt Camp — a week-long get-together for women interested in quilting, learning, eating, and conversing — for several years before selling it.
One of the most important things in Betty Sue’s life was art. She learned to sew as a young child, and she worked at that craft until she died. One of her major passions in life was quilting, and she created many beautiful, highly creative, award-winning quilts for herself, family, and friends that were displayed throughout the United States and internationally. In addition to quilting, she also did needlepoint, painted, stenciled, practiced calligraphy, and wrote stories about her life for the Marshall Writers’ Guild and impassioned letters to the Marshall Democrat-News and the Kansas City Star.
In addition to being a wonderful mother and family member, Betty Sue was a close friend to many people, and was one of the best hostesses ever to grace Marshall, MO. Her parties brought together many of her skills, honed over years of practice: cooking, decoration, presentation, and knowing just the right mix of people to invite over for a good time and great conversation.
Betty Sue will be sorely missed by her family, friends, and the many people whose lives she touched.