Betty Luehrs
Betty Luehrs
  • April 5, 1925 - May 20, 2017
  • Columbia, South Carolina

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COLUMBIA Betty Jean Driggs Luehrs, widow of retired Colonel William C. Luehrs, died Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the age of 92. “Jean,” a military wife for 25 years, was active in South Carolina State/Richland County Republican Party, served as Chairman of Volunteers for the Central Chapter of the American Red Cross, a radio-reader for the South Carolina Commission for the Blind and member/supporter of the South Carolina Symphony League.

Jean was born in Salem, Oregon on April 5, 1925. Along with millions of others, her family struggled through the Great Depression. Jean graduated from Jefferson High School and attended Oregon State University.

While working for the Oregon Industrial Accident Commission, her life changed for the better. In 1946 she met (over her car’s flat tire) a young infantry officer returned from the Pacific Theater, World War II. Six weeks later she married that officer, “Cliff.” Cliff’s Army journey took the family to San Antonio, Denver, Minneapolis, Anchorage, Alaska, Augusta, Georgia, Washington, DC, Heilbronn and Nuremburg, Germany, Ft. Benning, Georgia, Honolulu, Hawaii with a final assignment in Washington, DC where Cliff was Executive Officer to the U.S. Army Surgeon General. Jean and Cliff were married for 53 years before he passed away in August 1999.

Jean appreciated living in many locations around the country and the world, but she truly loved being in Washington, D.C. She would read the society pages of the Washington Post every day, attended night sessions of Congress, and brought the family to the Marine Band concerts on their Potomac barge. While in Germany, each weekend Jean would take her two young sons to explore southern Germany while Cliff attended his Army duties near the tense Czech border.

Upon Cliff’s retirement in 1972, Cliff and Jean made a new home in Columbia, S.C. While traveling to Florida to seek a retirement location, they visited friends in Columbia and decided to stay. Cliff served as Hospital Administrator for the S.C. Department of Mental Health. Jean and Cliff were known for their hospitality and generosity, each summer holding a southern “Pig Roast” party in their back yard for friends and neighbors.

Surviving are two sons, Jack S. Luehrs (Jole Cornelison Luehrs) of Dallas; Bruce H. Luehrs (Cheryl Haze Luehrs) of Rose Valley, Pa.; three grandchildren, Genevieve “Jeni” Luehrs Hayes (Jon A. Hayes) of Charleston, S.C.; Gregory William Haze Luehrs (Hailey B. Luehrs) of Philadelphia, Pa.; Evin Hunter Luehrs (Alexander C. Peterson) of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; and one great-grandchild, Sadie Jean Luehrs, of Philadelphia, born on Jean’s 90th birthday April 5, 2015 and named after two of her great-grandmothers. Jean is survived by many loving nephews and nieces from the Luehrs and Driggs families, and as well some very special friends and neighbors from the Columbia and Charleston area.

The family suggests for any friends or family wanting to memorialize Jean’s happy and adventurous life and service to others, please make a contribution in the name of Jean Luehrs to Sistercare, 1820 Morlaine Rd, Cayce, SC 29033.

Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, is assisting the family.

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