PHOENIX — Betty Jean Zirkle, 91, passed away Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, peacefully in her sleep surrounded by family.

Betty was born Oct. 24, 1928, in Orchard, West Virginia, the first of two children of Paul D. Miller and Emma G. Riley. Shortly after her birth the Miller family relocated to Brandon, Ohio, where she grew up learning to sew and help out on the farm. Betty graduated from Homer High School in 1947 and shortly after graduation she started working at the Bridge Company in Mount Vernon. She was later employed as a secretary with Cochran Electric in Mount Vernon.

In 1950, Betty married Don Pickens. Betty and Don experienced 23 years together in Brandon until his death in 1973. Betty then remarried Merrill (Pete) Zirkle in 1974 and moved to Mansfield. After her marriage, the Zirkle’s moved to Englewood, Florida, where they enjoyed many good retirement years. Betty and Pete had 38 years of marriage together until his death in 2012. Betty will be remembered as someone who lived life to its fullest. She enjoyed traveling, playing cards and entertaining family and friends.

She was proceeded in death by her husbands, Donald Pickens and Merrill (Pete) Zirkle; and her parents, Paul and Emma Miller.

Betty is survived by her brother, Cecil (Ellen) Miller of Fredericktown; step-children, Don (Karen) Zirkle of Butler; David (Karen) Zirkle of Peoria, Arizona; daughter, Connie (Terry) Carr of Mansfield; grandchildren, Ashley Zirkle of Chicago; Andrew (Kara) Zirkle of Portland, OR; Anna Zirkle of Butler; James (Erika) Zirkle of Mansfield; Jon Carr of Mansfield; Joel and (Karen) Carr of Destin, FL; seven great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild; nieces, Cheryl (Megaw) Geiger of Homer and Lorraine (Miller) Wicker of Fredericktown; nephews, Kevin Megaw of Homer, Michael Miller of Ontario and Ronald Miller of Fredericktown; and many other nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.

A celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date for family and friends. Betty will be laid to rest at Homer Cemetery.

The family asked in lieu of flowers that donations be made in Betty’s name to Banner Hospice 275 E. Germann Road, Suite 110, Gilbert, AZ 85297.


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