Funeral services for Betty Dabney, 90 year old former Buffalo woman who passed away April 4th in California, will be held Saturday June 9th at 11:00 a.m. from the Adams Funeral Home Chapel in Buffalo, Wyoming with Reverend Tom Saur officiating. Interment will be in Willow Grove Cemetery with graveside services to follow the funeral. A luncheon will be held at Colonel Bozeman’s in Buffalo immediately following the graveside. Donations may be made in Mrs. Dabney’s memory to the National Parks Association in care of the Adams Funeral Home at 351 N. Adams in Buffalo.
Ellen Elizabeth Dabney was born October 1, 1922 to James L. and Lena A. Leath in Buffalo, Wyoming. Betty was the first of twin daughters to be born that night. (Her twin sister was Helen M. (Leath) Mader.)
Betty, and her twin, grew up on their parents' cattle ranch 50 miles east of Buffalo. Betty attended a country school near the ranch. Her first horse was a Shetland pony named Caesar. Her father had gifted each twin with a Shetland pony to ride to and from the school house. Betty attended the country school through grade six and then moved to Buffalo for the remaining school years. She graduated with honors from Buffalo High School in 1940 where she was a member of the Nat. Honor Society, Quill and Scroll, Music Festival, Chorus, Student Council Secretary, Social Welfare Committee Chairman, and was the Wyomalo Yearbook Editor. The following year Betty and her twin attended Teacher's Training School in Gillette, Wyoming. After receiving her teaching certification Betty started teaching her own one room school grades 1 through 6. Betty taught school for a total of three years, before and during her marriage.
On June 6, 1942, Betty married "Mike" (Melvin F. Dabney) in Ocean Beach, CA. near San Diego. Her husband had enlisted in the U.S. Navy a few days after Pearl Harbor, Dec. 1941. Betty returned to Wyoming and taught school for 2 more years. After Mike's discharge from the Navy, Betty and Mike returned to Wyoming and bought their first home in Sheridan. For three years Betty was secretary to the General Manager at Big Horn Coal Company. On June 15, 1949 a baby boy, Michael "Alan", was born. On April 16, 1953 a daughter, Kay Elizabeth, formerly known as Melva Kay, was born.
While living in Sheridan, Betty played rhythm guitar, piano, and sang as a member of her husband's country western dance band, known as Mike's Rhythm Ramblers. They played many Saturday night dances in the Buffalo, Sheridan and Arvada areas in the early 1950's. The family lived in Sheridan until December 1957. Betty and Mike continued to own and manage rental property in Sheridan and Buffalo for the next 30 years.
The small family of four moved to Indio, CA. in Dec. 1957 where Betty was a homemaker . She was active in the First United Methodist Church (now Shepard of the Valley), PTA, and was a Girl Scout leader for five years. Betty was a typist for Shield's Date Garden for three Christmas seasons.
In Aug. 1964, Betty accepted a stenographic position for the County Superintendent of Schools Office for the school psychologist. She became a Superior Court secretary in 1971 until she retired 19 years later on March 31, 1983. She was secretary to Judge Fred Metheny, Judge Frank Moore, and Judge John Carroll. Betty was a member of the Legal Secretary Organization, The First United Mehodist Church Womens Group,California Women for Agriculture, a Doe at the Elks, and a Docent at the Coachella Valley Museum and Cultural Center.
Betty and her husband enjoyed traveling in their RV. They made many trips to their home state of Wy. On several of these trips Betty and Mike were joined by their son, Alan and daughter, Kay and their families. Her favorite local desert destination was Cottonwood Springs Campground in the Joshua Tree National Monument east of Indio. She enjoyed weekend camping or just going to Cottonwood for a day picnic. Many happy hours were spent at Cottonwood, hiking and rock collecting with her husband, children and families. Betty loved spring time in the desert and all the desert flowers. She especially loved the blooms on the way to Cottonwood. Betty also loved roses. She had beautiful roses at her home and when she moved to Murrieta, she enjoyed 20 or more rose bushes there. She loved having cut roses in the house.
Betty lived in her Indio home with her husband for 37 years. When Mike became ill they moved to Murrieta with their daughter Kay and family. After her husband passed away Betty decided to return to Indio, and a short time later was able to buy her beloved Indio home back where she resided until her death on April 4th. 2012. Her greatest joy she said were her four grandchildren.
Preceded in death by: Father-James L. Leath, Mother-Lena A Leath, sister-Ann Smith, Brother-George Leath, Husband-Mike Dabney, Twin sister-Helen Mader
She is survived by one son-Michael "Alan" Dabney and his wife-Diana, of Rancho Mirage, CA., one daughter Kay Elizabeth Chapin, (formerly Melva Dabney) and her husband-Michael Chapin of Murrieta, California; two brothers, Robert Leath and Allen Leath both of Buffalo; a sister-in-law Eva Dabney of Gillette, and brother-in-law Harry Huson of Cheyenne: two grandsons Steven Dabney of Washington State and Justin Chapin (surrogate son of Kay and Michael-Jason Arroyo) of Murrieta; and two granddaughters, Delaney Dabney Hammons of Indio , California and Julie Chapin of Murrieta.,
Preceded in death by her Husband, Mike Dabney, her parents James and Lena Leath; one sister-Ann Smith; one brother George Leath, and her twin sister-Helen Mader