Betty Jo Compton

1939 -  2014


Betty Jo Compton, 75, of Miller, South Dakota, passed away on Monday, Dec. 29, 2014 at the Good Samaritan Society in Miller.

She was born the 10th of 14 children to James and Elsie (Cowan) Nichols on Feb. 7, 1939 in Buckeye, Arizona. The family traveled extensively and lived in many states. Some of her fondest memories of childhood were in the mountains of Northern California. She recalled watching the filming of a scene for the movie, “The Big Trees.” Smiling, she told of the kids riding in the families mobile home with a fire lit in the wood stove for warmth while her father pulled it down the road to his next job. Memories of running barefoot and tipping over outhouses on Halloween were some of Betty’s favorites.

In the late 1960s, Betty soldered circuit panels for radios. Later she worked as a flagger for road construction; a dump truck driver in Miami, Florida and at resort lodges in the mountains of north central Wyoming.

Betty inherited the “Nichols’ gypsy blood” and continued to travel until she settled in Miller, South Dakota in 2006. She married Bert Compton on July 2, 1987 and traveled with him for his job as an iron worker. She raised six children on her own.

In her earlier years, Betty loved to dance, shoot pool, and throw darts. Later she sewed, embroidered, and baked. She always loved to fish.

Betty will live on in our cherished memories of her laughter and in the strength she instilled in her children.

She was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters; and four brothers.

Surviving include her husband, Bert Compton of Miller, South Dakota; four daughters: Debbie (Steve) Kodada of New Ulm, Minnesota, Gloria (Darrell) Groenendyk of Oskaloosa, Iowa, Becky (Brian) Beaner of Worthington, Mennesota, and P.J. (Joe) Woldt of Crooks, South Dakota; two sons: Ray (Lisa) Wilkett of Worthington, Minnesota and Don (Melissa) Morris of St. Lawrence, South Dakota; a step-daughter, Carrie (Casey) Hall of New Jersey; two step-sons: Greg Compton of Steal City, Nebraska and Dale (Susan) Compton of St. Cloud, Florida; 26 grandchildren; 22 great grandchildren; seven sisters and brothers; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be 6 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014 at Reck Funeral Home, Miller. Burial will be 2 p.m., Friday, Jan. 2, 2015 at Ten Sleep Cemetery in Ten Sleep, Wyoming.

Reck Funeral Home of Miller has been entrusted with Betty’s arrangements. Visit

Veile Mortuary of Worland is in charge of the Ten Sleep burial service.