Denny Lee Bettisworth


Denny Lee Bettisworth, 79, passed away December 7, 2019, in Leesburg, FL. 

He was born February 25, 1940, in Quincy, the son of Robert & Alberta Bettisworth.  The Bettisworths later moved to Galesburg where Denny attended elementary through high school, graduating in 1958.  He received a BS in Education from Northern Illinois University in 1963, a Master of Arts from Colorado State University in 1967 and a PhD from the University of Georgia in 1974.  He began his teaching career at Rock Falls High School (Illinois).  He later taught theatre and theatre history at Kent State Stark County Campus (Ohio), University of Missouri-St Louis, and Central Michigan University where he was a professor and served as chairman of the Speech Communications & Dramatic Arts Department from 1981 until his retirement in 2003.  Although Denny touched many lives while teaching and directing, he was also known for playing his guitar and his famous limericks. 

Denny married Linda Hartley in 1963.  Their son, David, was born in February of 1967.  Daughters Kara, Kim, and Kris were born in February of 1969.  Denny was an avid golfer.  He & Linda enjoyed 16 years of golf and sun in their retirement at Royal Highlands in Leesburg, Florida.   Denny is survived by his wife, Linda; son David (Kelly); daughters Kara (Tom) Stefanson, Kim Bettisworth (Bill Raack), and Kris Bettisworth; grandchildren Gibson Raack, Finley Raack and Logan Stefanson; sisters-in-law Carol Michalek, Sarah Metzger, and Carol Hartley; several cousins, nieces and nephews. 

Graveside service and celebration of Denny’s life will be held in Galesburg, Illinois in the spring.  Donations be made to CMU Summer Theatre Endowment, a program Denny started in 1987.  Checks may be sent to Department of Theatre & Dance, Moore Hall 331, Central Michigan University, Mt Pleasant, MI 48859.  Arrangements have been entrusted to Watson Thomas Funeral Home and Crematory, Galesburg.

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