Hob and Marie Garwood left their home in Riverton, New Jersey and traveled to Miami with their two children, Robert Hicks Garwood (12) and Betty Jane Garwood (10) and arrived in Miami in 1936. Betty departed this life on February 16, 2021 at the age of 94. She died peacefully at her home with her husband and son at her bedside in Melbourne, Florida. Her husband, Robert A. Koppen, age 95, survives her along with their two children, Robert Daniel Koppen (Karen) and Donna Louise Wilson (Warren). Her brother, Bob, and her youngest daughter, Nancy Jean Hass (John), predeceased her. Betty is the grandmother to Kimberly Chase, Robert Warren Wilson (Malika), Brian Daniel Koppen and Amy Marie Henry (Parker). Her great grandchildren are Sydney Chase, Kyle Chase and Madina Elizabeth Wilson, all of whom survive her and reside in states other than Florida.
Betty went to school at Shenandoah Elementary and Jr. High. In high school she was on student council, a cheerleader and president of her class. She received the American Legion Medal of Honor at graduation which inspired her granddaughter, Kimberly Chase, to be awarded the same medal years later.
Betty, at age 14, met Bob who was 15 at the time. Betty and Bob married on May 25, 1945. Their children, Robert Daniel Koppen, Donna Louise Wilson and Nancy Jean Hass, were raised and educated in Miami and they attended colleges of their choice.
Her beloved husband, Bob Koppen, was always proud to let others know that Betty was a member of the first class in the newly established Miami Dade Community College. She then went on to earn her degree in Elementary Education at the University of Miami. Completing her education was delayed as she raised her children with her husband, allowing him to continue his education and to start his practice of law. Betty was one of those special persons who put her family first and was a friend to anyone she met.
Betty was a retired Miami-Dade County public school teacher. She taught many children from prominent old time Miami families, last teaching at Miami Lakes Elementary School. In 1981, the school awarded her teacher of the Year.
Betty and Bob lived in Miami, Miami Shores and Delray Beach. They finally relocated to Melbourne, making new friends there.
A viewing will be held at Beckman-Williamson Funeral Home, 5400 Village Drive, Viera, Florida on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Private family funeral arrangements have been made. You may sign Betty’s guestbook at www.beckmanwilliamson.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Betty Jane (Garwood) Koppen, please visit our floral store.