Betty Jane Patten was born December 4, 1936, at Mitchell, to Lawrence and Ann Grace (Parry) Nelson. She grew up on the family farm at Stickney, graduated from Stickney High School in 1955 where she was crowned Miss Stickney. In 1959 she received her BA degree from Dakota Wesleyan University. On June 9, 1960, she married Darryl Patten at the Presbyterian Church in Mitchell. They lived in Lawrence, KS, then moved to El Dorado KS where she was a Junior High chorus class accompanist. They moved to Mitchell in 1976 and she was a DWU Pre-school Teachers Aide from 1977 until 1994. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women, Church Handbell Choir and was a member of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers. She was a lover of music and supported the arts.
She is survived by two children: Kevin Patten of Crofton, NE, Tammy Parks and husband, Bill of Mitchell; six grandchildren: Zachary, Natalie, Timothy, Emily, Nicholas and Abigail Parks; one brother, Merwyn Nelson and wife, Barbara, of Springfield, IL. She was preceded in death by her husband, Darryl, in 1997, one brother, Parry Nelson, one sister, Harriet Nelson and her parents.