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In Memory of Betty Wilson
Santa Fe Springs Councilwoman Emeritus Betty Wilson, born in Illinois, passed away Monday, March 13, 2000. She is survived by her son Robert and wife Cheryl, daughter Jacqueline and husband Ed, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Wilson and her family relocated to Santa Fe Springs in the 1950s after a brief stay in Washington. Betty and her husband Sterling were residents of Santa Fe Springs until their passing. As a fairly new resident, Betty was instrumental in the incorporation of Santa Fe Springs. As a working wife and mother, she helped to gather signatures that led to the City's incorporation in 1957. She was elected to the first City Council and named Mayor, thus becoming the first female Mayor in Los Angeles County history. Betty served on the City Council for 40 years and held the title of Mayor a total of 12 times. Additionally, she served as Council liaison to the Santa Fe Springs Community Program, Sister City and Beautification Committees.
While a member of the City Council, Betty used her influence to gain support for issues that were important to the community. She served on the Los Angeles County Children's Services Task Force and, in that capacity, was instrumental in the establishment of a separate Children's Services Department within the County of Los Angeles. She also served as Chapter President of the Santa Fe Springs Business and Professional Women's Club.
On a broader level, she served as President of the Los Angeles County Division of the League of California Cities as an original member of the Executive Committee of the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority serving for approximately 20 years.
Betty will most assuredly be remembered for her involvement with Sister Cities International. President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed her to this newly formed organization to promote people-to-people relationships worldwide following the devastation of World War II. She served three terms as President, also as Chairman of the Executive Committee, and continued to be an active member at the time of her passing. While working in this capacity, she met and worked with Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, Ford and Reagan and was awarded the "Peace Dollar Award" (highest award given for work in the Sister City Program) and the "Dwight D. Eisenhower Award" for the furtherance of the goals of international understanding.
In 1997, after 40 years of faithful and dedicated service, Betty Wilson retired from
her position on the City Council. In honor of her many contributions to the City of Santa
Fe Springs, the City Council unanimously named her Councilwoman Emeritus. The title was
granted to her along with an office to acknowledge her continued value as a community
leader, historian and resource to the City Council and community at large.
Disclaimer: The information contained in the following pages was valid at the time of publication. The City of Santa Fe Springs reserves the right to make changes and improvements at any time and without notice, and assumes no liability for damages incurred directly or indirectly as a result of errors, omissions or discrepancies.
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