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Obituary: Betty Joe Bingham

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Betty Joe Phillips Bingham, 74, a woman of unsurpassed beauty and grace, dearly loved by her family and friends, passed away due to complications of heart surgery on July 21, 2001.

Born February 2, 1927 in Richmond, VA, to Lawrence Baker Phillips and Jennie Lou Echols Candler Phillips. She had a big sister, Mary Louise, who was also her best friends While growing up in Virginia, she loved taking street cars to the beach and dancing at the Old Armory where she won her share of dance contests. She graduated from Hampton High School in 1943. Betty Joe fulfilled her dream of becoming a nurse, graduating from Duke University School of Nursing in 1947. At age 20, she was head nurse of plastic and neurosurgery. She joined the Army and transferred from Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio to join the occupational forces in Munich, Germany. It was in Germany that, in her own words, she was "swept off her feet" by a dashing Army doctor who became the love of her life. She was married to Charles Bartlett Bingham in Munich, Germany on Jan. 12, 1951. After four years in Germany and a year at Ft. Benning, GA, the growing Bingham family moved to Fresno, CA in 1954, where Dr. Bingham started an oral surgery practice.

Betty Joe was an excellent athlete, she was the pitcher for several women's softball teams and was a champion golfer. She once won a golf tournament when she was eight-months pregnant. A convert The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Betty Joe held many positions of leadership and was actively involved in the church throughout her adult life. This included service with her husband as medical missionaries in Vietnam from 1997 to 1999. From 1975 to 1980, Betty Joe worked at the King Faisal Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, while Charles set up the oral surgery unit. Upon returning from Saudia Arabia, the Binghams settled on their beloved Rancho Veyo, outside Veyo, Utah. Here they built a wonderful home where everyone felt welcome and comfortable, due in large part to the Southern style hospitality, wonderful food and generosity of Betty Joe. She had a beautiful alto voice and participated in choirs throughout her life. In her later years, she enjoyed nothing so much as being with her family, playing Rook, laughing at stories of the past, and making plans for the future.

She is survived by her husband, Charles B. Bingham, Veyo, UT; sister, Mary L. (Robbie) Spady, Hampton, VA; eight children, Penny (Dan) Johnston, Tucson, AZ; Tobi (Scott) Sanders, Sanders; Candy (Craig) Hanis, Houston, TX; Terri (Mike) Christiansen, Sandy; Tab (Pam) Bingham, Draper; Tami (Chuck) Cooley, Redding, CA; Vicki (Glen) Hinton, Portland, OR; and adopted son, Helmut (Lark) Bambl, Alpine, UT; also 35 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren, and many nieces an d nephews on both sides.

Funeral services will be held Friday, July 27, 2001 at 10 a.m. at the LDS Veyo, Utah Ward Chapel. Friends may call on Thursday, July 26, at the Metcalf Mortuary, 300 West St. George Blvd, St. George, Utah, from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be a viewing for family in Veyo one hour prior to the funeral service. Interment will be at the Veyo Cemetery.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the wonderful doctors and staff at the LDS Hospital Coronary Care Unit in Salt Lake City. No one could have done more or cared as much.