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Betty Jean Walden Edwards


Betty Jean Walden Edwards, 76, of Springfield, passed away Saturday morning, September 10, 2022, surrounded by loved ones.

She was born December 6, 1945, in Beardstown, to loving parents, William F. Fanning and Frances E. (Johnson) Fanning.

Betty is survived by her big sister, Mary Steward of Carlinville, her “baby” brother, William F. Fanning, Jr. and his wife, (her dear friend) Pam Fanning of Carlinville, her son, Thomas Walden II and his wife, Chrissy Walden (whom she thought of as a daughter) of Springfield, and her grandsons, Owen and Benjamin Walden of Springfield. She is also survived by Ellen Pickle and her husband, Max Pickle of Flower Mound, TX (a niece who was much more like a daughter to her) and her great-nieces, Riley and Cassidy Pickle (who were like grand-daughters). She also leaves behind 3 special nephews: Billy Fanning (Michele) of Austin, TX, JC Fanning (Katie) of Lawrenceville, GA and Larry Steward of Carlinville, as well as 3 other special nieces: Becky Sancamper (Bob) of Brighton, Lori Owens of Alton, and Rachel Steward (Rick) of Carlinville, plus many great-nieces and great-nephews, all who held a special place in heart.

Betty was preceded in death by her mother and father (Granny and Pa) and her loving sister, Frances A Kemper (Aunt Tancy). She missed them greatly and it is a comfort to know that she is with them again.

While raising her only child, Tom, Betty worked at John Deere Life Insurance and attended Illinois College and LLCC in Springfield, IL. She received her Associates in Applied Science in 1996 and then went on to work at the University of Illinois at Springfield as a telecommunicator for the police department and then in the Registrar’s office until retirement in 2016.

She was an accomplished seamstress, loved to cook and bake, enjoyed traveling with family and attending gym class with her friends. She loved collecting giraffes and planting flowers in the spring. She absolutely adored her two grandsons, Owen and Ben, and attended every sporting or school event that she could. Her pride in her son and her grandsons was unmatched.

Betty lived her life with grace, dignity and a fierce independence that she worked hard to maintain. She was a source of strength, wisdom and stability for her family. Her absence on this Earth is felt tremendously.

Vancil-Murphy Funeral Home in Springfield will facilitate cremation. A Celebration of Life will be held at Venue 1929 in Springfield, on September 24th from 6-9 p.m. with tributes beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Memorials are suggested to the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association or the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF).