Betty Jo Warden Keirstead passed away peacefully Wednesday, April 7, 2021 in Hartford, Connecticut. Betty was born June 16, 1924, in Bluefield, West Virginia, and grew up in McComas, West Virginia. She graduated from Ward Belmont Preparatory School in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1942, and earned a BA in chemistry from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (R-MWC) in Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1946. She then moved to New York City, where she worked as a medical secretary. In 1951 she married E. Burton Keirstead. Betty and Burt raised four children together, living in Norwalk, Connecticut; Richmond, Massachusetts; Reston, Virginia; and Simsbury, Connecticut. Burt died in 1988. In 2008 Betty married Leonard G. Clough, and in 2010 they moved to West Hartford, Connecticut.
In 1973 Betty became an administrative assistant for the director of conference planning at Cigna Corporation, eventually becoming the director of the department. She enjoyed the opportunities to travel as part of her work and continued to travel widely after she retired in 1992. In retirement she became more active as a member of First Church of Christ in Simsbury, Connecticut, including working part-time in the church office and singing in the choir. During her residence at the McAuley community in West Hartford, she served as secretary and later president of the Residents Association. She was an active R-MWC alum as well as an “honorary alum” fan of Dartmouth College football.
Betty spread the joy of music to all. Raised in a musical family, she studied piano and voice and was a choir member throughout her life and a soloist for various churches. She sang in several amateur productions of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas. She also enjoyed golf, tennis, and skiing.
Betty was preceded in death by her first husband E. Burton Keirstead, her parents, Henry F. Warden and Ethel M. Witt Warden, and brothers Henry F. Warden Jr. and James A. Warden. She is survived by her husband, Leonard Clough; her four children, Mary Keirstead (Edward Swain) of St. Paul, Minnesota; Burt (Cheri) Keirstead of St. Augustine, Florida; Ann (Harry) Reed of South Jordan, Utah; and Betty Jo (Gary) Bolin of Natick, Massachusetts; her grandchildren, Chandlee (Joann) Keirstead, Heidi (Dan) Dias, John Swain (Jennifer Brentrup), Daniel Swain, Andrew Reed, Sarah Reed, Emma (Tim) Strini, Walker Bolin, and Hunter Bolin; great-grandchildren, Carina Keirstead, Alexander Keirstead, Juliana Dias, and Lili Dias; stepchildren, Marian Hillsdon, David Clough (Andrea Levine), Thomas Clough (Ann Plumley), and Deborah (Steven) Froemel.
The family is planning a memorial service for Betty to be held later this year. The family suggests donations to the First Church of Christ, 689 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, Connecticut 06070, or the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.