Cover photo for Betty Ann Collicott's Obituary
Betty Ann Collicott Profile Photo

Betty Ann Collicott

December 21, 1933 — March 13, 2024

Cozad

Betty Ann Collicott

Betty Ann Collicott of Cozad passed away Wednesday, March 13, 2024 at Lexington Regional Hospital at the age of 90.   Betty was born December 21, 1933 near Shickley, NE to Alfred and Verdie (Dyer) Loshonkohl.  Her father was a hired farmer in the area for a few years before moving into Lincoln and the surrounding area for hourly work, moving whenever the job changed. Here the family contracted scarlet fever while living in some lower income neighborhoods during the war.  In February of 1945 the family moved south of Cozad onto the Ed Fasse farm east of Welch Hill, following extended family who had previously moved into the area.  The house had no electricity or running water, and was a challenge for the entire family after living in a more modern Lincoln area. Later they moved to a more modern home also belonging to the Fasse family.

Betty attended the rural District 66 School until she began attending high school in Cozad in 1949.  Betty and her older sister Helen lived in town during the week while attending school, and at the farm on the weekends.  During the summer of 1950 Betty lived with a family near Eustis, earning $15 per week for school clothes by taking care of the family’s younger children and doing housework. She rose at 4 am and went to bed at 10 pm with 1 hour a day allowed for her to practice on her baritone saxophone.  Her mother picked her up Saturday evenings and took her back on Monday morning.

Having begun to date Dee Collicott in March of that year, many of her Sundays were spent with him.  They mostly drove around the surrounding communities visiting Dee’s siblings, and hung out at Ollie’s cafe in Cozad.  When school started again in the fall, Betty and Helen lived with another family in Cozad, taking care of their children.  When on day shift, Dee would pick her up from school as lunch began and drop her off at the last minute leaving Betty to rush up to second floor to get her books and zip down to the basement, through the tunnel connecting the two buildings and slide through the class door as the bell rang.

On Friday the 6th of October he picked her up at noon as usual, and as they drove away he told her to look in the glove box where she discovered a ring box with a diamond.  On October 9th, both mothers traveled to Lexington with them as witnesses where they were married.  Verdie had to sign a permission form as Betty was still 16 and Dee was 22.   Nine months and a week later, John, the first of three children was born.  Bob arrived 26 months later and Bonnie followed another 25 months later.

When John was 5, Dee and Betty bought a two room house across the street from Dee’s mother, and at the spot now occupied by the entrance to the new west addition of the high school.  It was a tight fit as all 5 of them slept in the same room for the next 4 years. The house lacked running water during those years.  As money and time allowed, Dee and Betty worked to add two more bedrooms, a kitchen and a fully functional indoor bathroom over the next 7 years.   They lived in that house until about 1974 when they sold the house to the city for a future extension to the high school.  They considered leaving town for a start elsewhere, but came back after a long summer away, and remained residents of Cozad.

Betty completed her GED and received her high school diploma through independent study.  Betty’s first job after marriage was in 1968 at the Midget Market where she worked part time at the register.    Later Betty cleaned a number of houses around town for many years including for Marge Wilson, and worked some at the Cozad Library before the Wilson addition.   She joined Foodtown in 1976 as a cashier, and became head cashier and then bookkeeper until she retired in 1996.   She also kept the books for Dee’s electrician business.

In 1984 Betty and Dee welcomed grandson Brian into their home and became his legal guardians.  He lived with them until after his high school graduation, where he enjoyed all of the same love and care of of Betty’s own children.

After her husband Dee passed away in 2000, just a month short of 50 years together, Betty returned to work at the new Wilson Public Library.  She worked there until she retired a second time at age 82.  The library was a perfect fit for Betty who was a voracious reader.  She could consume nearly a book a day and loved Nebraska history.  

Many people knew Betty as a walking encyclopedia of local information and she volunteered time at the 100th Meridian Museum.   Her former employer at Foodtown often found out not only a person’s name when he asked Betty who that person was, but where they lived, who all the extended and immediate family members were and sometimes where they had lived the last several moves. This ability to map the area and the families no doubt corresponded to her passion for genealogy.

She began pursuing the family genealogy long before the Internet could be researched.  She sent out dozens and dozens of requests for birth and death certificates around the country, and into Germany and England tracking down ancestors.  Many vacations with Betty included trips to cemeteries in surrounding states.  Some of her own efforts were published in collaboration with another author’s book on Callicotts, and then later became part of the public information on the internet without her permission. Much of her written correspondence is still in our possession.    Armed later with a computer and Family Tree software, she diligently put all of her information into a system consisting of thousands of names and up to18 generations dating back into the 1300s.  All of her decedents can now have a strong understanding of where they come from, and the names of their ancestors.  

While working at the library, she researched the details for those searching for ancestor information from the Cozad areas.  She was president of the local genealogy club, and donated to the library her microfiche reader and fiche documents that she had purchased to pursue her own investigations.

Truly one of the most important people in their lineage is a hard-working, extremely bright woman with a voracious appetite for information and connections to her world.  Those who knew her well remember an even tempered woman who laughed easily, and loved talking with anyone and everyone.

Betty is preceded in death by husband Leonard Dee Collicott, her parents, A and V Loshonkohl, sister Helen and husband Dallas Clevenger, brother Roy and Lori (Eble) Loshonkohl and grandson Joshua Lee Collicott, son of John and Judy and Justin Collicott, son of Robert and Diane.   Betty is survived by her sister Lois and her husband Charles Gregory, her three children and spouses John and Judy (Regehr) Collicott of Omaha, Robert and Diane (Morris) Collicott of Phoenix and Bonnie Powell of Cozad; 6 grandchildren, Jesse Collicott, Jenny Schlautman, Jodi Cooper, Trent Collicott, Andrew Collicott and Brian Collicott; and 18 great grandchildren Makenna, Liam, Regan, Jordan, Sophie, Gentry, Ava, Titus, London, Crosby, Mackenzie, Greyson, Corbin, Piper, Harley, Mazie, Michael, Nickolas.

With her son Bob guiding her during a visit to Phoenix, Betty welcomed Jesus Christ into her life and was born again.  Later that same year she was baptized at the Cozad Christian Church.

Memorials may be given to the Wilson Public Library Genealogy Club in Cozad. Services will be held Saturday, March 16, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. at the Berryman Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Mike Moore officiating. Burial will follow at Cozad Cemetery. Visitation with family present will be Friday, March 15, 2024 from 6 to 8 p.m. at. Berryman Funeral Home, which is in charge of arrangements.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Betty Ann Collicott, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, March 15, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Berryman Funeral Home

620 E 22nd St, Cozad, NE 69130

Family will be present

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Berryman Funeral Home

620 E 22nd St, Cozad, NE 69130

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 1135

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Send a Gift

Send a Gift