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Obituary for Betty Traver
Betty Howell Traver, 94, of Gray, GA died June 23, 2018. She was born March 27, 1924 in Durham, NC, the daughter of Edward Lathrop Howell of White Plains, GA and Lillian (Emma) Schalk Howell of Bristol, Connecticut. Betty moved to 38 Peachtree Circle, Atlanta, GA at six weeks old following her mother’s death in an automobile accident. She lived with her father’s beloved sister, Mrs. G.A. Camp (Bertha Howell), who had two sons (Howell and Robert) and a daughter (Helen). After completing high school in 1942 at Washington Seminary in Atlanta, which is now part of Westminster School, Betty attended Wesleyan College for two years. Following her time at Wesleyan, she continued her education at Emory University, even though during that time Emory did not award undergraduate degrees to women. In 1945, Betty was Emory’s only co-ed undergraduate student and the first woman editor of The Emory Wheel. She transferred her credits and graduated with a degree in journalism from Agnes Scott College, having taken only two courses there. After serving as an associate editor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Dixie Contractor magazine, she joined the American Red Cross as a recreation worker during the Korean War. She was sent to the Far East in 1951. Over 33 months, she served in five U.S. Army hospitals in Okinawa, Osaka, Taegu (wartime Korea) and twice in Tokyo. In her free time, she traveled extensively in Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong. In 1953, she met and married Army First Lt. Daniel Garfield Traver, originally from Frewsburg, New York, in Kobe, Japan. They had three separate ceremonies: one in the Army camp, another according to the local Japanese customs and one in a chapel stateside with family. They began married life in a Japanese house near Sapporo where Dan served as an Army ski trooper in the winter of 1953-54. In the years that followed, Dan’s career as an Army pilot took them to Virginia, Georgia, Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri and Germany. In 1966 during the Vietnam War while her husband was stationed in Saigon serving on the staff of General Westmoreland, Betty made a six-week trip to the Orient. She and Dan visited Thailand and Hong Kong together and she made the trip to Cambodia by herself. Posing as her husband’s girlfriend, she spent ten days in wartime Saigon with Dan during a time when Army wives were forbidden to visit. After Dan retired as a Lt. Col., Betty and Dan moved to Greensboro, GA where they restored and resided in a house built in the mid 1800s at 102 West Street. Dan was a teacher in the Athens-Clarke County School System until 1992. Traveling was a lifelong interest for the Travers and they decorated their home with art and memorabilia from their trips to Albania, Austria, Canada, Egypt, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Jordan, Macao, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, and Turkey. In 1993, they missed a terrorist attack on their hotel in Cairo by only three hours. They celebrated their 50thwedding anniversary in 2003 with a trip to Japan that allowed them to return to the sites of their first dates and wedding ceremonies. With her husband, Betty researched and wrote the weekly “Archives” column of Greene County history in the Herald-Journal from 1997-2002. She was also a member of the First United Methodist Church. Following Dan’s death in 2007, Betty moved to Stone Brooke Suites, a retirement community in Gray, GA, to be near her cousins, Jim and Carol Brittain, and their children and families. She was admired for her quick wit and knowledge of history and current events. She had many entertaining stories to share having lived in six states and three foreign countries and having visited 41 states and 22 foreign countries during her lifetime. She enjoyed working Sudoku puzzles and playing bridge. She was also fond of cats and Peanuts cartoon characters, especially Snoopy as the Red Barron. She was cremated and is to be buried in the White Plains Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on July 21, 2018 in the chapel of the Gray United Methodist Church, 117 Jefferson Street, Gray, GA 31032. Contributions may be made in Betty’s memory to Gray United Methodist Church. Vining Ivy Hill Chapel, 105 Lower Harmony Road, Eatonton, GA, (706) 485-4144, is in charge of arrangements.