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StockardJuly 16, 1918 - Jan 13, 2013 OKLAHOMA CITY Elizabeth Jane "Betty" Dillon Stockard passed away peacefully, after a brief illness, surrounded by her family, on Sunday, January 13, 2013, at the age of 94. Betty was born on July 16, 1918, in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, to John Joseph & Alice Egan Dillon. She was second generation of Irish immigrants from County Kerry and was always proud of her Irish Heritage. She owned and operated Betty Stockard School of Dance in Oklahoma City from 1968 until her retirement in June 2009 at the young age of 90. Betty's teaching career began when she was 18 years old. She and her sister, Mary Alice, taught dance lessons as the Dillon Sisters in Seminole, Oklahoma. Their mother supplied the music by playing the piano during classes. After graduation from New Lima High School, Betty and Mary went to Los Angeles, California, to study dance with Louis DePron, Katherine Duffy and Stanley Kahn. While there, they were offered contracts by Twentieth Century Fox to dance in motion pictures. The sisters chose to stay closer to home and share their love of dance with the people of Oklahoma. Betty married Woodrow W. Stockard in 1942, had three children, and continued to teach for various dance studios in Texas and Oklahoma, including Holliman and Howard Dance Studio in Fort Worth, Texas, and Hi Roberts in Oklahoma City. In 1968, Betty opened her studio at 7706 N. May Avenue. She was mother, counselor, teacher, mentor and friend to thousands of dancers for over 41 years. She always saw the beauty and potential in each student. Her favorite quote is no surprise: "A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or what kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child." Betty was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and a brother, Jack Dillon, Jr. She is survived by three children, Mary Ferguson (Terry Wood), Jane Zielny and husband Steve, and Dan Stockard and wife Loree; sister, Mary Alice Perrault; four grandchildren, Kelle Wygal, Donny Goyette and wife Jill, Dillon Stockard, and Kaitlin Stockard and fiance Brandon Harper; two great-grandchildren, Madison Jane and Gracyn Reese Goyette; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Visitation will be on Tuesday, January 15th at Smith & Kernke, N. May. An evening prayer service will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 15th at Smith & Kernke Chapel. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16th at Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church. Burial will follow in Resurrection Memorial Cemetery.

Published in The Oklahoman on Jan. 15, 2013
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