Betty Lou Lawyer, the daughter of James William and Velma Amelia (Davis) Trent, was born on June 5, 1932, in Wellman, Iowa. She grew up in Wellman and Iowa City, Iowa, and graduated in 1949 from City High School in Iowa City. On February 17, 1951, in Neola, Iowa, Betty married Daniel Wesley Cook. The couple lived in Neola before moving to Council Bluffs, Iowa. Betty attended Iowa Western Community College and received her Registered Nursing degree in 1977. She then worked at the Elm Crest Retirement Community and Myrtue Memorial Hospital, Harlan, Iowa, and various Council Bluffs nursing homes before retiring in 1992. On January 9, 1981, Betty married C. Merle Lawyer in Harlan, Iowa. In 1998, Betty entered the Salem Nursing Home in Elk Horn, Iowa, and in 2000, moved to the Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan.
Betty was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Harlan, Iowa, and the Order of Eastern Star Lebanon Chapter #8, also in Harlan. She enjoyed spending time with her beagle dogs, bowling, reading, and sewing. Betty loved flowers of all kinds.
Betty L. Lawyer died on Friday, March 17, 2006, at the Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan, Iowa, at the age of 73 years, 9 months, and 12 days.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents; one daughter, Kristie Kay Cook; one grandson, Todd Daniel Cook; one brother, Franklin Delano Trent; and one sister, Arietta Agnes Curry. She is survived by her husband, C. Merle Lawyer of Harlan, Iowa; four sons, Jerome Cook and Jeffrey (Mary) Cook, both of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Dr. Daniel (Anne) Cook, M.D. of Saint Louis, Missouri, and Anthony Cook of Denver, Colorado; one daughter, Julie (Troy) Petry of Council Bluffs, Iowa; one step-daughter, Charisse (Marc) Lawrence of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; two step-sons, Courtney (Beth) Lawyer of Glendale, Arizona, and Brad (Stacey) Lawyer of Portsmouth, Iowa; one sister, Aileen Castillo of West Branch, Iowa; one brother, Tom (Donna) Trent of West Liberty, Iowa; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday, March 21, 2006, at the First United Methodist Church in Harlan, Iowa, with Rev. Dave Swinton officiating. Jennifer Perkins and Lee Nelson were the musicians. Casket bearers were Betty’s niece and nephews, Pam Schultz, Bob Curry, Pete Curry, Ken Curry, Jim Cook, and Frank Cook. Burial was in the Neola Township Cemetery, Neola, Iowa. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan was in charge of the arrangements.