Betty Jean Tow

April 29, 1929 ~ March 21, 2022 (age 92)


Betty Jean Tow (nee Hutton), 92-years-old, passed away peacefully on 3/21/22 at Windham Hospital in Willimantic, Connecticut. She lived a long, eventful life, and was preceded in death by her mother, Emily Percy Hutton, and father, Thomas Hutton, her siblings Gerald, Audrey, Leslie, Ted, and Stanley Hutton as well as her husband of 45 years, Arlis Wayne Tow. She is survived by son David Tow and partner Nathalie Peltier-Horton, daughter Kimberly and son-in-law Gary Blondin, grandchildren Alexander (and daughter Bella), Morgana and Leonardo Tow, and Nathalie's children Jessica Peltier (with husband Todd Helweg and children Alice and Matthew), Charlie Horton (with husband Casey DuVall) and Margaret Horton (with husband Tony Gugino and child Ava). Betty was born 4/29/29 at home with a midwife in Chadwell Heath, outside Romford in greater Essex outside London, England. She was the youngest of six children and grew
up during World War I1 in the time of rations and the London Blitz, babysitting her sister's twins and listening to Churchill on the radio. For five months during the heavy bombing, she was sent to live with her deaf aunt in the countryside. She studied science at Catholic High School and at 16, began work with her brother Gerald at a chemical plant doing quality control. Unfortunately, once finishing high school she contracted polio and was paralyzed from the waist down, staying in the hospital for six months. While there, a Swedish doctor administered an unknown
experimental treatment; she went blind initially, went home, then regained her sight and ability to walk slowly while her brother Leslie rebuilt her bike as an incentive. Betty went back to work as chemist for about nine more years, saving her money. During that time, she visited Sweden and other parts of Europe. Sadly, her father died when she was 25. She loved the job at the chemical plant but realized the chemicals were affecting her health. She did not enjoy the wet and cold English weather, so she decided to move to America, to see what it was like. She wrote to a family friend, an American Air Force pilot, who sponsored her to come to the USA. She purchased a berth on a steamer ship from England to Texas with her saved money when she was 27 years old. Once she arrived, Betty got a job as a dental assistant. After spending two years in Dallas, she met her future husband Wayne on a blind double date. He did not make much of an impression. She did not see him for months, but then he called her around Christmas and they started dating. They were married in a very small wedding with a justice of the peace in Dallas. She moved into Wayne's mobile home and their son David was born in January, 1959. They lived in the trailer for a year while Wayne worked as an engineer in Texas. He got job in Rancho Cordova, California, just outside of Sacramento, at Aerojet, working on the new space program. They were both very excited about the move, and traveled in his little Austin Healy to California. They purchased a three-bedroom home on Sobrante Way with a VA loan. Their daughter Kim was born in July, 1960 and they had a pleasant suburban family life under the hot California sun for 13 years. Betty had a variety of part time jobs. She was a recess monitor, den mother and more. Her husband was laid off from his engineering job in 1971 and they both worked in real estate for two years. This was not very productive, so Wayne sent out resumes far and wide, eventually landing a job at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in East Hartford, Connecticut in 1973. The whole family said goodbye to their friends and moved that summer to Hebron, a very different rural existence. Betty Lived in Hebron for 48 years. She returned to London with her whole family in 1977 and with Wayne in the 1980s to visit all her siblings, and some of them came to visit America as well. She traveled extensively with Wayne until his death in 2003, enjoyed Cape Cod and the Caribbean, and took numerous vacations with Kim after her husband's death. She enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, playing cards and games, and took water aerobics for 38 Years at Healthtrax in Glastonbury. She also worked at HR Block for a few years, until she started her own tax preparation business. She continued the tax business for 21 years, sometimes working with Wayne or with Kim, eventually retiring at 80. Betty was lucid and sharp, with a great memory until the very end. She loved good food, Nathalie's chocolate cake and her hot tea with milk. In her later years, she attended many family dinners with David and Nathalie's family, giving many hugs and presents to their grandchildren, who she loved dearly. She was a regular attendee at Kim's Thanksgiving and Fourth of July get-togethers.She was a member of Gilead Congregational Church in Hebron for many years before she died. At the end of her life, she spent a short time at Colebrook Village in Hebron. A Memorial Service for Betty is scheduled for Saturday, April 2, at 11:00 AM, at the Gilead Congregational Church, 672 Gilead Street, Hebron, CT. In lieu of flowers, donations in Betty’s memory may be made to the Gilead Congregational Church. To share a memory or express a condolence, please visit The Aurora – McCarthy Funeral Home in Colchester, has been entrusted with arrangements.


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Memorial Service
April 2, 2022

11:00 AM
Gilead Congregational Church
672 Gilead Street
Hebron, CT 06248

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