By Daniel Loughrey, PPh Assistant Director of Foundation & Corporate Giving
Featuring PPh Independent Living Resident, Betty Bedford.
Betty Sipes was born in the small town of Everett, located in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Betty’s father had fought in World War I, and when Betty was four, her family (she has one older brother, Kepner Sipes) moved to the Oxford Circle neighborhood of Philadelphia to be closer to her mother’s family. It was here in Northeast Philadelphia that she met Bill Bedford in the 6th grade at Carnell Elementary. She went on to attend Frankford High School and graduated in 1946. Betty and Bill were married two years later on January 17, 1948 in Glading Memorial Presbyterian Church and fellow PPh resident Ginny Murphy was her maid-of-honor.
They raised their family in the Fox Chase neighborhood, and each year they would take a family camping trip to Cowan’s Gap State Park. Cowan’s Gap was a favorite of Betty, Bill and their three children. They also continued to regularly attend Glading Memorial Presbyterian Church with their kids. Their three children eventually led to six grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. Bill was a Mason and Betty was a member of Eastern Star and together they enjoyed the many social events put on by both organizations.
Betty went on to work in bookkeeping and then later at Continental Bank. She worked at Continental for over twenty years. Her husband Bill worked at PPh in the late 1980s and early 1990s, so when it came time to look at retirement communities, PPh was an easy choice for her. Bill passed away in 2005, but before he did, he recommended that Betty eventually move in to PPh so that she would not be alone and she could continue to be social. She made the move in 2006 and has loved it ever since. She can often be found volunteering in the Gift Shop, Café, or playing pinochle with her friends.
Earlier this month, Betty and a few of her cousin’s daughters took a trip to Everett to look at old family graves. Betty is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and her cousin’s daughters needed to document some of the old family graves to prove their family has been in the U.S. since prior to the Revolution. She loves taking trips out to Everett and tries to do so annually. She still knows many of the families out there, and they even visited her childhood home on the last trip. She certainly appreciates the familiarity of Northeast Philadelphia, and she loves having her children so close (all three live in the Delaware Valley), but she greatly enjoys the visits to Everett.
Nearly ten years later, her original reason for moving to PPh still rings
true… She is never alone, she keeps as busy as she can, and she is remarkably social with her friends and neighbors.