Bette Lou Blankenship, daughter of Vincent and Ruby (Duggan) Sharkey, was born in Chino, CA on May 22, 1937. As a child she moved with her family to a farm in Tripp County, SD. Bette Lou attended country school and later graduated from Winner High School in 1955. She taught and attended college at Southern State College in Springfield, SD earning her Degree in Teaching.
Bette Lou was united in marriage with Richard Blankenship on November 30, 1958 in Mitchell, SD at Holy Family Catholic Church. The couple made their home in Mitchell. Bette Lou taught country school near Letcher, later in Ethan, SD , 25 years at Holy Spirit Elementary School, 8 years at Holy Family Elementary Schools and finally at 8 years at a substitute teacher. She retired from teaching in 2002. Bette Lou will always be remembered as “always helping everybody else first”.
Bette Lou was an active member of Holy Family Catholic Church and was also very involved in the Democratic Party. Bette Lou was award Teacher of the Year in 1986.