Buena Vista resident Betty Gwynn displays flowers she received on her 100th birthday. She moved to town in 1958 when her husband Nort was recruited to take over the town drugstore.

Betty Gwynn celebrated her 100th birthday with her family on December 26, 2021. 

Betty was born in Fremont, Neb., and her parents moved the family to Wyoming when she was 4 years old.

Upon graduating from high school in Thermopolis, Wyo., Betty attended Beth-El Nursing College in Colorado Springs from 1940-1943.  She joined the U.S. Army Nurse Corp in 1943. 

In April, 1944, she was stationed in England at a field hospital established to treat the casualties from D-Day.  

Betty remembers sitting on the steps of Hut #124 where they lived and watching the airplanes, each one pulling a glider, go over at tree top level on D-Day. The nurses did not know what was happening except for short news releases posted on their bulletin board. 

After V.E. Day, Betty was sent to Paris to give vaccines to troops being sent to the war in the Pacific. While there, she had the opportunity to tour France and the highlights for her included seeing the Folies Bergère, the French Riviera and Notre Dame.

Betty achieved the rank of 1st Lieutenant and outranked her husband Norton, who stood at attention and saluted her every morning.

Nort and Betty, high school sweethearts, were married on May 6, 1946. They were married 71 years. 

Norton was going to make a career out of the Navy until he contracted tuberculosis. After his discharge, he attended pharmacy school at CU. Betty took care of their children and worked as a nurse at hospitals in Denver and Boulder.

After he graduated in 1954, Norton, Betty and their children moved to Salida where he worked for Salida Drug and Betty worked at the hospital.

Nort was recruited by the editor of the BV paper to take over the drugstore in Buena Vista. In 1958, Betty and Nort moved their family to Buena Vista and established Gwynn’s Pharmacy on Main Street. Betty kept the books and helped Norton in the store.

The rest of their lives they’ve lived in Buena Vista. 

Betty continued her career as a nurse, working for Columbine Nursing Home and the hospital in Leadville. She also worked in the library at the BV High School and one year drove a school bus. 

Betty belongs to Eastern Star, the Gas Creek Home Demonstration Club and the Monarch Quilt Club. She has been a member of the Congregational United Church of Christ since her move to Buena Vista. 

She remembers that the church was in the little brick building behind Bev’s Stitchery at that time. 

She has four children, Steve, Nancy, Ken and David, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. 

Betty still lives in her home in Buena Vista with her son Ken and Judy, his wife.

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