Betty Curry was a resident of a local adult foster care home. She began attending our church after a family member encouraged her to visit. Betty felt right at home and called each week to let me know she would see me on Sunday.
It was very obvious Betty enjoyed the services. She sang enthusiastically and seemed thrilled just to be in church. She often stood and said, “Oh, I would just like everyone to know how I love being here. I love the joy and the love I feel from you all.” She glowed with excitement, especially during the music.
One afternoon, I received a call and was told Betty Curry had passed away. When I met with the family, it became clear why Betty was so vibrant in her love of music and people.
When Betty was young, she was a singer. She had the lead role in the musical, “Mikado,” when she was in high school. Her love of music continued long after leaving school.
Betty became a professional singer and was invited to audition with Guy Lombardo and Ted Weams. Other people in the music business recognized Betty as a gifted singer and dancer.
Just as Betty’s career seemed to be headed for the stars, she fell in love, married, and soon had her first child. She decided her family was more important than a music career, so she gave it all up. I wonder how many times the opposite happens, and people give up their families to take a shot at stardom only to find they should have stayed home.
Even though Betty wasn’t standing on stages in front of huge crowds anymore, she never stopped singing. She sang at home and neighbors often told her they loved to hear her sing.
This dear little lady who faithfully attended services each week still had stars in her eyes many years later. Though her body grew weak, her love of music never did.
If heaven has a choir, I think Betty Curry is front and center singing her heart out, just like she did at church.
I wonder how many people I’ve been around who have incredible stories I never heard. Mary and I performed a concert at a church in Brighton, Michigan, many years ago. I learned later that a man playing clarinet with us actually played with The Temptations. I wanted to go back and talk to him!
Everyone has a story. It may not include having a name everyone would recognize, or anyone but family for that matter, but that doesn’t make the story any less valuable.