Born Betty Jo Taylor on July 28, 1929, in Boise, she was the daughter of Joseph V and Mae (Johnson) Taylor. Musically gifted Betty Jo attended Boise High School where she met Morris Southward, marrying him in 1947. His career in fisheries research spanned the Northwest; in Seattle and Pullman they raised their children, Jude and Todd. In 1970, Betty Jo returned to her roots in Boise, marrying Phillip Courtright and starting life anew.
Betty Jo loved the art of card-playing, being a consummate bridge player. She competed in numerous tournaments, receiving honors and a Life Masters title. And her talents in the kitchen were celebrated as well – by all who sampled her delectable edibles.
Betty Jo was a dedicated nursing assistant at St. Luke's Hospital Cardiac unit in Boise for ten years. She worked elsewhere as well; most notably, as a valued self-employed home cleaning professional.
A stroke in 1997 curtailed full time work, but her courage and energy kept her in an active lifestyle for the remainder of her life. She and Phil enjoyed years of adventures in their fifth wheel RV. In the 'Idaho Tumbleweeds', a group of camping enthusiasts, they frequented various campgrounds and RV parks. The SISCRA camp in Donnelly was a favorite relaxation spot.
Family was important. There was no shortage of clan gatherings - at birthdays, holidays, picnics, dinners in, dinners out, card games, and yard parties. Betty Jo was especially proud of her 'kids' and 'grandkids'; she prized the RV treks made to Colorado for visits.
In recent years she and Phil were regulars at the Boise Senior Center, making friends and sharing good times. Betty Jo loved life and people; her amiable smile often broke into laughter. Through many challenges, little got her down or slowed her down. Her cordial and courageous spirit will be missed.
Betty Jo was preceded in death by her brothers Vernon B. (& Ruth) Taylor and Donald G. (& Marilyn) Taylor, first husband Morris Southward, niece Diane Taylor and nephew Jerry Taylor. She is survived by her husband of 46 years, Phillip Courtright, daughter Jude Southward of Denver, son Todd Southward (Brenda) of Basalt, CO. (children Zachary and Meagan), and nieces & nephews.
Memorial - to be announced later.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to St. Luke's Hospice or Bright Star Care.