Betty Mills Vantine (“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 and most treasured career at the Vineyard Gazette as its sales director for Edgartown. 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 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, also of Martha’s Vineyard, and Megan Yerdon and husband Snow Kennedy; her grandchildren, Chelsey and husband Patrick Chambers, and 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. She is predeceased by her mother, Elizabeth Mills, father, Lawrence Christensen, along with her aunt and uncle, Walter and Martha Kresge. Her adoptive father Charles Mills also recently joined B.J. in heaven.
A celebration of life ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 26, at 11 am. This outdoor event will be held at her daughter’s home at 40 Vineyard Meadow Farms Road in West Tisbury. Parking is limited, so please carpool if possible. In the event of rain, the event will be held on Sunday, June 27, at 11 am. All are welcome to attend as well as encouraged to wear their favorite hat and navy blue, as these made up B.J.’s signature look. Please contact B.J.’s daughter Katryn Gilbert at 774-521-9681 with any questions.