Betty Sue Stone Morse | Billing Obituaries

Betty Sue Stone Morse walked through this life in the arms of her daughter Dana on January 3, 2022 in Tucson, Arizona. She was 93 years old.

Betty Sue was born in Pueblo, Colorado on January 26, 1928 to Edna Elizabeth (Bennington) and Gordon Ira Stone. Seven years later, she is joined by her brother Gordon Lee Stone.

The Stones settled in Arvada, Colorado, where Betty Sue was a high school cheerleader with abundant energy and a head full of glorious curls. She graduated from Arvada High School at the age of 17.

Betty Sue finished a year of college before love, and Robert Ray Morse took her in another direction. She and Bob were married in Arvada on September 7, 1947. They were married for almost 66 years before Bob died in 2013.

Bob’s career as a farmland and ranch appraiser eventually brought the growing Morse family to Billings, Montana, where they lived for over 40 years. Both Bob and Betty Sue were active in their church and community, with a large circle of friends and a Dinner Club that had lasted for decades. Betty Sue was well known for her creative and inspired dinner parties and for the many adventures she hosted for her family and friends.

They embraced the Montana lifestyle with family skiing, camping, and fishing trips, a deep respect for Montana’s history, and an appreciation for Western art and the cultural offerings of theater and performance. Their Bluewater Creek Ranch near Fromberg, Montana has been the site of many treasured memories.

As a community volunteer, Betty Sue served in the Red Cross and was a member of the PEO Sisterhood, the Presbyterian Women’s Association, and the Pink Ladies of Billings St. Vincent’s Hospital. Later, she transitioned from her volunteer work to a career at St. Vincent’s Hospital as Director of Community Relations. Again, Betty Sue was the go-to resource for inventive and engaging community events. Betty Sue had a keen interest in the ancestral line and spent many years documenting the family tree. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

A voracious reader and lifelong advocate for education, Betty Sue didn’t settle for just one year of college. Determined and ambitious, she did what most housewives and mothers of her day never dreamed of: she went back to school. She studied late at night when the children were in bed and was a trailblazer and role model for non-traditional students. At the age of 44, Betty Sue graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Eastern Montana College, now Montana State University Billings.

Products of the Great Depression and World War II, Bob and Betty Sue were fiercely patriotic and made sure their children knew as much about the United States as possible. Family vacations have seen the Morses explore the United States from coast to coast, from Hawaii to Washington DC, Seattle to San Diego to St. Louis, and countless stops in between.

Once the four Morse children grew up, Bob and Betty Sue got serious about their passion for travel. Over the next 30 years they discovered the world, especially in difficult places like China, India, Mongolia, Tibet, Siberia, Peru and Africa. Bob and Betty Sue were intellectually curious and always ready to learn, so each trip was preceded by extensive research, study, and tuition.

Betty Sue is survived by her daughters Gwendolyn Sue Nickleski (Glenn), Kimberly Jean Brooks (Dan) and Dana Lynn Wier; eight grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; other extended family; and a lifetime of friends. She is predeceased by her husband and parents; son Steven Robert Morse; and his brother Gordon Lee Stone.

Betty Sue’s family express their gratitude to those who offered comfort and support during this difficult time. A family service will be held in Colorado at a later date.

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