Merced County Times Newspaper
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Betty Lucille (Lou) Exum

1927 — 2021

Betty Lou Exum, a resident of Merced for 67 years and a longtime educator, passed away this past January in her daughter Mary’s home in Logan, Utah.

Now that it’s safer to travel and hold gatherings, a memorial service is scheduled for this Sunday, Sept. 12, starting at 2 p.m., at Central Presbyterian Church, 1920 Canal Street in Merced. A reception will follow in the Side Room of the church.

Lou was born in Bethany, Oklahoma to the Rev. and Mrs. H.H. Davis (the former Vina Johns). Lou was the 10th of 11 children. The family moved to Springdale, Arkansas when she was four. As she grew up she was active in school sports and student activities.

Lou and her husband Dana moved to Merced in 1950. She did volunteer work to help establish a two-year college in Merced, and she was one of the first students to enroll. Classes were held at the fairgrounds. She was honored for receiving all A’s the first semester and maintained high standards throughout her education.

During the teacher shortage of the 1960s she taught elementary school on a provisional credential. She continued to earn degrees, including a Master’s degree and counseling and administrative credentials. She appreciated her husband and children for their cooperative support in making it possible for her to pursue her enthusiastic love of learning and teaching. She relied on her husband to proofread all of her term papers to perfection. During her last nine years in education she was an elementary school principal in Merced City Schools. She retired in 1990 after 28 years in education.

Lou was always active in her church. She served as a Sunday School teacher, Sunday School Superintendent and Christian Education Commission member. She was in the choir for over thirty years and was a Deacon. She was active in women’s ministries and in the Woman-to-Woman Bible Study. A great joy for her was being able to point the way to Christ in love, for she wanted her friends to be with her in Heaven.

She enjoyed her family, friends, playing bridge and reading. After retirement, she also enjoyed making cheesecakes and little girls’ dresses for friends.

Although nothing could replace her love for friends and home church at Central Presbyterian Church, after relocating to Logan, Utah in 2017, Lou was in faithful attendance at First Presbyterian Church. She loved the pastors, the choir, and the kind members of the congregation. She died peacefully in January at the home of her daughter Mary, who cared for her the last three and a half years.

Lou was preceded to Heaven by her husband Dana Exum and is survived by her two daughters, Lou Ann Exum Sakaki (Katsuro), Mary Griffin (Jim), grandsons Jesse Exum, Pete Denno (wife Dana), and great-grandchildren Julia and Nate Denno, and a host of nieces and nephews.

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