Betty B. Thye, 99, of Burlington, died at 2:25 a.m. Tuesday, July 11, 2017, at the Great River Klein Center in West Burlington.
Born July 22, 1917, in Burlington, she was the daughter of Henry "Al" and Muriel Parker Bentzinger. She was a graduate of Burlington High School. On November 24, 1938, she married her high school sweetheart Gerald Claris Thye in Burlington. He died on September 9, 1976.
She did clerical work for several businesses around town while Gerry was serving in the war. After Gerry's passing, she worked at the Ocean Reef Golf Club where she assisted in the pro shop in Florida during the winters. She was able to help several young assistant pro's from Burlington Golf Club and Iowa land professional golf jobs in Florida.
Among Betty's life-long commitments is her church. Betty belonged to the First Congregational Church in Burlington since she was born. She has served her church by serving on the Mission Board, the Board of Trustees, playing the piano, singing in the choir, and serving on the church's historical board.
Betty's life exemplifies courage, confidence and character. She surely made the world a better place. It was most evident in her contributions to golf for women and girls through her work in the Iowa Women's Golf Association. Betty's service to the I.W.G.A. includes: President 1985-1988, Vice-President 1984-1985, Director-Iowa Husband-Wife 1978-1985, Chair of Women's Course Ratings for Iowa 1970-1977, Chair of the Rules Committee, served on Bylaws and Procedures, Co-Director Forever 39-(State Match Play), Pairings Committee for the Women's' Amateur, chaired the Women's Senior and she co-chaired the Sr Division of the Women's Amateur, and she was most proud of her efforts that resulted in the I.W.G.A. scholarship being renamed after Ann Griffel, another longtime I.W.G.A. volunteer. All of Betty's tireless efforts earned her an induction in the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame in 2009. Every woman golfer in Iowa has benefited from her efforts will continue to benefit in the years ahead.
Betty also volunteered an incredible amount of her time to teaching junior golfers at the Burlington Golf Club. She has mentored several generations of golfers and instilled in them the values of sportsmanship, the integrity of the rules, and the honor of the game. She not only mentored the youth in golf but she also spent her time volunteering at Sunnyside School boosting their self esteem by helping them to read and being their to listen to them. Betty was also awarded the Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction in 2008.
She will be dearly missed by her many friends and all the people who's lives she has touched.
Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, and one brother, Dean Bentzinger.
Cremation has been entrusted to the care of Prugh~Thielen Crematory.
On Saturday, July 22, 2017, Betty's 100th birthday, there will be fellowship at the Burlington Golf Club at 8:00 p.m., with a toast to Betty at 8:30 p.m., followed by fireworks.
Prugh~Thielen Funeral Home is in care of the arrangements.
A memorial has been established for the Betty Thye Memorial Fund for scholarships. Donations can be made to the Iowa Golf Association Foundation for scholarship use. Donations may be left at the funeral home, the Burlington Golf Club, or mailed to the IGA Foundation, 1605 North Ankeny Blvd., #210, Ankeny, IA 50023.