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1410 E Bowman Ave.
Las Cruces, NM 88001-3001
Phone: (575) 526-2419
Fax: (575) 526-7944

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Obituary for Betty Diven

Betty  Diven
Betty Diven, loving matriarch who with her late husband Bill instilled integrity and compassion in her children and beyond, died May 8, 2018, from the infirmities of time. She was 98 and lived independently at home in Las Cruces, N.M., until three weeks before her passing.
She was born Martha Betty Putnam in 1920 at the home of her parents, John and Ada Gale Putnam, in Oregon, Ill. She and a circle of friends grew up together in the small county seat enjoying sports, dancing and Halloween pranks and building a cabin on an island in Rock River. During World War II she learned radio repair for the U.S. Army Air Corps and was a Red Cross volunteer.
Betty took up golf after her father and his friends built the nine-hole Oregon Country Club in 1927 launching her into a stellar amateur career. In the early 1940s, while attending the University of Arizona, she won the Arizona state, Phoenix and Tucson women's championships and reached the match-play quarter-finals of the first national intercollegiate women's tournament. In Illinois, beginning when some newspapers reported women's golf on the society pages, she won the Lincoln Highway Tournament medalist honors numerous times.
Fond memories of Las Cruces from a 1941 golf tournament led to Betty, Bill and boys relocating there in 1964 for what was to be a one-year family adventure. The lure of the West proved irresistible, however, as did new friends, year-round golf and the opening of Mayfield High School where Bill taught until retirement.
Raised Presbyterian, Betty also found the deep and satisfying faith she sought from the Church of the Crosses and its successor, the Latter Rain Harvest Fellowship Church, where Sister Betty served as a bookkeeper into her 90s. She was thankful every day, actively content with her life, and never lost her sense of humor.
Betty was the last family member of her generation surviving her brother and sister-in-law, John "Jack" and Janet Putnam of Oregon, and first cousin Julianne Crawford Tourtillott of Corvallis, Ore. When Bill passed away in 2006, he and Betty had been married nearly 58 years.
Surviving Betty are her five sons and four daughters-in-law: Bill and Kate of Placitas, N.M., Chuck and Nancy of Landstuhl, Germany, and Ben and Elinor, Jack and Mary, and Bob, of Las Cruces, 12 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and eight nieces and nephews.
A memorial service is planned for 4 p.m. June 30 at the Latter Rain Harvest Fellowship Church, 401 N. Main St., Las Cruces. A catered reception follows in the church fellowship hall. Her and Bill's ashes will be interred in Illinois in the rural family plot at Daysville Cemetery near the site of the Oregon Country Club.
The Diven family wishes to express its sincere appreciation to Dr. J. Roberto Durán III, close friend Linda Arrey, the people of Memorial Medical Center, Casa del Sol nursing center, Mesilla Valley Hospice and Getz Funeral Home, and Pastor Mary Sellers, Deacon Joe Bob Sellers and the Latter Rain Harvest Fellowship Church community for their embrace of Sister Betty.
Arrangements by Getz Funeral Home, corner of Solano and Bowman Ave. To sign our local online guestbook, please log onto

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