May 30, 1925 – January 2, 2018
Born in Vona, CO
Resided in Lincoln, NE
Dr. Elizabeth Alice Dillon-Peterson
Dr. Elizabeth Alice Dillon-Peterson
Lincoln, NE – The family and friends of Dr. Elizabeth Alice Dillon-Peterson, Ed.D, (Betty-Alice) ask that you join in their mourning of her passing.
Betty-Alice, 92, was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who passed away January 2, 2018 at home. Betty-Alice was born on May 30, 1925 in Vona, Colorado to the late Rev. John and Verena Falconer. She earned her doctorate in education from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in 1969. Her thesis on the education of gifted students became the basis for the first Nebraska state-mandated program for gifted students.
Throughout her extensive educational career, Dr. Dillon served as a teacher, guidance counselor, school principal, and administrator. She was the first Director of Curriculum and Staff Development for Lincoln Public Schools. Betty-Alice was one of the founders of the National Staff Development Council, which has morphed into Learning Forward, the Professional Learning Association, which has grown to several thousand international members. Her professional writings have been published by most major national educational organizations. Betty-Alice was twice named one of America’s “100 Top Educators” by Executive Educator Magazine.
This drive for success and improvement of service to others should not have been unexpected, as Betty-Alice was the granddaughter of a single pioneer woman who was a prairie “sodbuster” and a founding citizen of Kit Carson County, CO. She rightfully took quiet pride in her accomplishments while gently poking fun at herself, such as when she claimed full responsibility for having “gotten 100% of her sons into West Point.”
Betty-Alice believed in helping those less fortunate and exhibited this in a practical manner. Over the years, she bought and rehabilitated numerous older homes throughout Lincoln, and rented them inexpensively to families in need. Through creative contracts, she facilitated numbers of her tenants, who otherwise could not qualify for a conventional loan, purchasing their homes.
Throughout her life, Betty-Alice pursued her passion for international travel, which accelerated following her retirement. She greatly enjoyed travel adventures off the beaten tourist paths; for example, China and Russia well before those were popular or comfortable destinations. She appreciated absorbing the landscapes, museums, and important treasures as well as experiencing the culture and cuisine of foreign countries. She especially relished those trips where she was accompanied by her extended family; children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Betty-Alice is survived by her husband of 39 years, Jack Peterson; sons, Mark (Sidney) Dillon of Oakton, VA, and Brian (Carol) Dillon of Charlotte, NC and step-son Gregg (Stephanie, MD) Peterson of Lincoln, NE; 6 grandchildren, DVM Amy (Shawn Carter, PhD) Dillon of Oakhill, VA, Jennifer Dillon Dunmire of Charlotte, NC, Caroline Dillon of Aldie, VA, Blythe (Tim Fariss) Dillon, Esq., of Charlotte, NC, Christopher (Renee) Dillon of Charlotte, NC, and Andrew (Liz) Dillon of Berkeley, CA; and 12 great-grandchildren. She also has numerous nieces and nephews, among whom Janet Osterkamp Aden, Lincoln, NE, has lovingly cared for her in later years as her “adopted daughter.” Betty-Alice was preceded in death by her parents, and sisters, Rosalie Osterkamp and Audrey Falconer.
A Memorial Service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, February 3, 2018 at the Fellowship Community Church, 8451 Eagle Crest Rd. with Pastor George Cook officiating..
Memorials may be given to: Learning Forward, 504 S. Locust Street, Oxford, OH 45056.
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