Theta Travels: Bettie Tipton Lindsey
Posted On: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 09:51 AM, by Mary Howard Leppo
Mary at Bettie Tipton's gravesite.
As a proud Theta of almost 12 years and a faithful, honest, and enthusiastic volunteer for Theta for the past five years, I decided this summer to go on a Theta quest and actually begin to start crossing off items from my large Theta Bucket List. After speaking with Fraternity Staff Archivist Noraleen Young as to what points of interest I should include on my list, she suggested visiting the graves of each of our four founders. Upon further questioning, I discovered that founder Bettie Tipton Lindsey was not only a Kentucky girl, but was buried in Mt. Sterling, approximately 45 minutes from my home in Lexington! I figured, if my goals of accomplishing my bucket list this summer fall short, I have no excuse not to at least pay Bettie Tipton a visit, especially because Noraleen shared with me it was not known if anyone had visited her since 1970, during our Centennial celebration. Armed with only a photo, and relying on my husband Paul’s Boy Scout skills and sense of direction, we set out to find Bettie in Machpelah Cemetery. At first we both wandered around like lost sheep for a half-hour trying to find her. Finally Paul asked to see the photo. After studying the photo for a few minutes, he decided we should look in the part of the cemetery that would have the same background as the photo. That sounded like a great plan to me! We discovered there was an old side and a new side, and figured Bettie would be in the old side. Once going to this side and finding the part of the cemetery that looked like the background of the photo, we got out and started looking. Five minutes later, I hollered out, "I found her! I found her!!" Her gravestone is very basic, just a common stone in the cemetery. All I could do was stand there with a cheesy smile on my face, in awe. I felt so blessed to be in the presence of one of our founders.