“An earthly angel has returned to heaven, carrying our hearts and memories upon her feathered wings.” Betty Mills Vantine, known on the Vineyard as B.J. Yerdon, passed from this world on Monday, May 11, 2020, at the hospital in Port Charlotte, Fla. She left in love, with her beloved spouse, Steven Vantine, by her side.
Betty was born on Feb. 17, 1945, to Elizabeth Mills and former husband Lawrence Christensen. She grew up in the Vestal, N.Y., area, where she graduated from Vestal Senior High School. After getting a degree from Wilson College, Betty went on to raise three lovely daughters.
She was a regular substitute teacher, owned a high school sports poster business, with her last career at the Vineyard Gazette, as its sales director on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Upon retirement, Betty and her groom lived in Punta Gorda, Fla., in a beautiful, happy home. She was a bright, indomitable spirit, and a beacon of light to numerous people, in harmony with the lighthouses she so adored.To know Betty was to love her.
Her intense love of Christmas was well known. With her myriad of decorations and many themed trees, she created a magical holiday home ambiance, embracing and sharing the true meaning of the season with all. She loved her gardens, and explored her talented, creative side through painting and crafting. The one thing she valued above all else: her family. Betty loved each member fiercely and unconditionally, and through sacrifice and determination, she was a model of strength to her children. As a very involved Nana, her grandchildren were the treasures of her later years.
She is survived by her soulmate and husband Steven Vantine; her daughters Sarah and husband Jason Cass, Katryn and husband Rob Gilbert, Megan Yerdon and husband Snow Kennedy; her grandchildren, Chelsey and husband Patrick Chambers, Brandon Cass; her stepchildren Meghan Politano and husband Steve and their three daughters, Ryan Vantine, Mike Vantine and his wife Tu, Amy Berg and husband Keith and their three children; and her adoptive father, Charles Mills. She is predeceased by her mother, Elizabeth Mills, father, Lawrence Christensen, and her aunt and uncle, Walter and Martha Kresge.
A celebration of life ceremony will be held at a later date, so that all may attend. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard, 1 Pennywise Lane, P.O. Box 1829, Edgartown, MA 02539. Condolences may be mailed to Steve Vantine, 1124 Lucia Drive, Punta Gorda, FL 33950.
Funeral arrangements are provided by the Hopler & Eschbach Funeral Home, Binghamton, N.Y. Please sign the online guestbook at hefuneralhome.com.