Betty Lyon Kraft, age 87, formerly of Framingham, MA, died peacefully at her home in Media, PA on December 29, 2023 from complications of lung cancer. Betty had a generosity of spirit and concern for the well-being of all people, evidenced by her deep interest in issues of social justice, lifelong friendships, and warm relationships with friends and caregivers at the continuing care community where she lived since 2018. Her intellectual curiosity drove her to continually expand her knowledge of any new or unfamiliar topic. She was a voracious reader and played bridge and other card games until shortly before her death.
Betty Ann Lyon was born August 11, 1936 in rural Wayne County, New York near Newark. The daughter of dairy farmers Wayne and Gladys (Tellier) Lyon, she attended Vassar College as a first-generation student, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.S. in Chemistry in 1957; she earned her M.Ed from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1958. She married John R. Kraft in 1957, and they treasured nearly 58 years of marriage until his death in 2015. She and Jack raised their family in Framingham, where they lived for over 55 years. Betty began her career as a classroom science teacher, and after a decade as a full-time mother she returned to paid employment as an administrator in the Maynard and Lincoln-Sudbury schools. The care and well-being of her family, though, provided her greatest satisfaction.
An avid cook, Betty enjoyed entertaining friends and family with meals in her home and vacation home on Cape Cod. She loved culture, particularly theater and classical music. She was an active and devoted member of The Plymouth Church in Framingham for more than 60 years, where she sang in the choir, served in numerous roles including as the Moderator of the church from 2002 through 2004, and supported many causes including the Africa Exchange Project for clean water and education in Tanzania.
Betty is survived by her children Richard Kraft (and Jer Jurma) of Swampscott, MA, Donald Kraft (and Helen Kraft) of Montville, NJ, and Judith Kraft (and Joseph Zorc) of Wynnewood, PA, grandchildren Katelyn Kraft, Jonathan Kraft, Robert Zorc, Michael Zorc, Audrey Jurma-Kraft, Julia Zorc, Sarah Zorc, and Vivian Jurma-Kraft, foster son Bruce Sitoli [né Vusumuzi Sithole] of Framingham, and countless extended family and friends. Her sister, Jean Ransley, died in 2009.
There was a memorial at Granite Farms Estates in Media, PA on January 6, and a memorial service will be held at 11:00 on February 3 at The Plymouth Church in Framingham. Donations may be made in her memory to the Africa Exchange Project, P.O Box 345, Ashland, MA 01721, or alternatively to The Plymouth Church.