Betty Jo Thane

Betty Jo Thane, age 92, of Wahpeton, ND, died Friday, November 6, 2020 at St. Catherine’s Living Center, Wahpeton. A public graveside service will be held Wednesday, November 11, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. at Fairview Cemetery, Wahpeton. Pastor Gordon Lee will officiate. The family requests that masks be worn and social distancing maintained. The service will also be live-streamed at, where condolences for the family may also be left.

Betty was born January 25, 1928, in Amarillo, TX to Henry and Jewel (Belk) Chowning. She graduated from Amarillo High School.

In the fall of 1951, she met and fell in love with Russell Thane, while he was stationed in Amarillo with the Air Force. They were married April 20, 1952. To this union, two children were born, Ronald and Kathleen.

She worked as a switchboard operator for the telephone company in Amarillo. After moving to the Wahpeton area, she continued as a switchboard operator for Northwestern Bell Telephone Co.

Betty assisted Russell on the farm and, for 35 years, as the wife of a North Dakota State Senator, spending three months every other year in Bismarck, where she met many of her closest friends.

When Kathleen passed away, Russell and Betty raised Kathleen’s children, Hunter and Mason, as their own. She was a member of the Dwight Homemaker’s Club, the Hobby Club and Faith Lutheran Church of Dwight.

She is survived by her husband, Russell; son, Ronald; grandchildren, Hunter and Mason; sister, Neva (John) Mitchell; sister-in-law, Lela Chowning; and nephews, Jay and Clifton Chowning. She was preceded by her parents, her daughter, Kathleen, and one brother, Henry Chowning.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Red River Human Services Foundation, 812 6th St. S, Wahpeton, ND 58075.

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