News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 4, 2013

Betty Louise Milholland Dodson


TERRE HAUTE — Betty Louise Milholland Dodson, 88, of Terre Haute died Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, at home.

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Wednesday at Centenary United Methodist Church, 301 N. Seventh St., Terre Haute., the Rev. Jimmy Moore officiating. Burial will be in Roselawn Memorial Park. Visitation will be from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Callahan & Hughes Funeral Home, 605 S. 25th St., Terre Haute.

Betty was born March 24, 1924, in North Vernon, Ind., a daughter of William G. and Helen G. Clark Milholland. In 1929, her family moved to Terre Haute. Betty graduated from Wiley High School in 1942 and earned a bachelor of arts degree from Indiana State Teachers College in 1948. While there, she joined Lambda Delta Phi social sorority and Kappa Delta Phi, an honorary society for teacher education.

During World War II, Betty joined the WAVES, where she trained as a welfare specialist at the College of William and Mary. She became a chaplain's assistant at San Leandro Naval Hospital in California.

In May 1946, she married Bill Dodson, who had grown up on the same street and had served in the U.S. Navy. Earning teaching licenses, they applied for and received teaching jobs in Kenai, Alaska. They taught for three years in Alaska — in Kenai and in Ouzinkie on Spruce Island near Kodiak — and enjoyed their experiences, making many new friends.

The Dodsons returned to Terre Haute to be near family and to rear their children. After the children were in school, Betty earned a master's degree in school library media services from Indiana State University in 1970 and was bookmobile librarian for the Vigo County Public Library from 1971 to 1985.

Betty began piano lessons at age 5, and while in junior high school, she learned to play the organ. From then on, she played for services at various churches and for school musical groups in high school and college. She was organist at Centenary United Methodist Church from 1964 to 1975 and helped select the church's current Casavant organ. In the 1960s, she served as dean of the Wabash Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists for three years.

 Betty particularly enjoyed family get-togethers, traveling extensively, attending symphony and concert performances, working crossword puzzles and attending Community Theater. She was a member of Centenary United Methodist Church, its Friendship Class and United Methodist Women, in which she held several offices.

She was also a member of the Friends of the Library, the Vigo County Historical Society and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She belonged to and was an officer of the Ring of Friendship Chapter of the American Business Women's Association.

 Survivors include her husband, Bill; a daughter, Margaret Dodson Kirwan of Bloomington and her husband, Dan; two sons, Robert D. Dodson of Centerpoint and his wife, LaVonne, and Donald W. Dodson of Champaign, Ill.; a grandson, Steven Dodson of South Bend and his wife, Anna; a granddaughter, Leslie Dodson Hensley of Indianapolis and her husband, Josh; and a great-grandson, Connor Hensley of Indianapolis.

 She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Doris Milholland Wright; and two brothers, Richard C. Milholland and John W. Milholland.

 Memorials may be made to Centenary United Methodist Church, Friends of the (Vigo County Public) Library and the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra. Funeral information is also available at: