Betty Jo Capen

Part-time Durango resident Betty Jo Capen died of complications of pulmonary fibrosis Monday, July 30, 2012, at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango. She was 70.

Mrs. Capen was born Sept. 27, 1941, to G.W. “Dub” and Josephine “Jo” Copeland in Fredericksburg, Texas. She grew up in Temple, Texas, and graduated from Temple High School in 1959. Mrs. Capen went on to earn a bachelor’s degree with honors in mathematics from North Texas State University in Denton.

In 1963, she married Edgar Capen in Dallas.

The Capens lived in Dallas until 1974, when they moved to Los Angeles for Mr. Capen’s work. They lived there for eight years, and while there, Mrs. Capen taught computer technology at the school their children attended in Calabasas. In 1982, they returned to Dallas, where they lived until their retirement.

The Capens purchased land in Colorado in 1971 and vacationed here from time to time. In 1997, they finished building their Colorado home and split their time between Dallas and Durango. In 2001, they moved to Georgetown, Texas, still maintaining their home in Durango.

Mrs. Capen enjoyed traveling. Before their children were born, the Capens traveled extensively around the world, including an adventurous trip through Europe in a Volkswagen bus. They belonged to the World Samplers Travel Club.

“Betty was a hostess extraordinaire,” her family said. “She wholeheartedly organized many family reunions. She made the best lobster blini, lasagna and strawberry shortcake.”

A member of The Worship Place in Georgetown, Mrs. Capen continued to be passionate about her religious studies and organized Bible discussion groups through the First United Methodist Church of Durango.

“Betty dearly loved photography,” her family said. “When she moved to Colorado, she thoroughly enjoyed hiking into the high country and enjoyed all the splendor of the mountains.”

She was a member of a wildflower photography hiking group called the “Moxies” and helped organize a women’s ski group.

Mrs. Capen is survived by her husband of 49 years, Edgar Capen, of Durango and Georgetown; daughter, Sheri Hall, of Dallas; son, Neil Capen, of Dallas; sister, Nancy Fahmy, of Spring, Texas; one grandson; and numerous extended family members.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. today, Aug. 3, 2012, at the First United Methodist Church of Durango, 2917 Aspen Drive. The Revs. Jeff Huber and Roger Haney will officiate. Burial will occur in Dallas.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice.