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 Mary Elizabeth “Betsy” <I>Maxwell</I> Cronkite

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Mary Elizabeth “Betsy” Maxwell Cronkite

  • Original Name Mary Elizabeth Maxwell
  • Birth 25 Jan 1916 Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, USA
  • Death 15 Mar 2005 New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
  • Burial Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, USA
  • Plot Block 8, directly east on J. Sorensen Blvd. to curb #89 and directly north about 1/3rd of the way through Block 8. Her ashes are buried along with her husband's and close to her parents. All are in close proximity to the Gatchell family memorial stone bench.
  • Memorial ID 10629074

She lived a long and useful life dying at the age of 89 of complications from cancer. She attended University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri; in the School of Journalism. She pledged to Delta Gamma Sorority, MU-Missouri Chapter. She remained an active alumni and loyal supporter of The National Delta Gamma Foundation. She met her husband, Walter while both were working for a radio station in Kansas City, Missouri, KCMO; after working at the station for only 3 days. They read copy together, had lunch and the long love story began. They often were seen arms linked when walking, always together; save for the war years when Walter was abroad working. The couple got married at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral at 13th St and Broadway on March 30th, 1940*. They were happily married 65 years. Walter noted in his biography, the secret to their longevity was Betsy's extraordinary keen sense of humor and her continual support of him and his career. This often wasn't an easy task, with his travel, difficult assignments, and irregular hours. Shortly after their marriage, Betsy was named Women's Editor of The Kansas City Journal Post. She worked for Hallmark during the war publishing a company newspaper that was distributed to members and armed forces abroad. She wrote an Ask Hope Hudson advice column. After the war, she joined her husband living and traveling to interesting places such as Moscow, and Brussels. The couple returned to Kansas City where their first child, Nancy was born. The marriage was blessed with 2 other children Kathy and Walter, III. The Cronkites had a summer home in Martha's vineyard where they enjoyed sailing and barbecues. It was there on Martha's vineyard they opened their home to President and Mrs. Clinton when things were difficult during Impeachment proceedings. Betsy spent time at Arizona State University talking to students and professors. The School of Journalism there had been named for her husband. She is remembered as a woman with a genuine smile, sharp wit, a down to earth person, a grandmother proud of her 4 grandchildren. Her health had been in decline for the last 6 months, and death came at her home on Tuesday, March 15th, 2005. Her memorial service was held at St. Bartholomew's Church on East 51 St. It was attended by many notables in both news and political circles, as well as family and friends. Hillary Clinton spoke at the funeral about her warm hospitality. Her ashes will be interred in Kansas City. She is survived by her husband, and 3 children.

*This date reflects that shown on the headstone. However, Jackson County, Missouri marriage records clearly show that the couple was married on March 27, 1940 by the Rev. Claude Willard Sprouse Sr., the "dean" of Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kansas City. T.N.

Betsy's father Arthur died in 1949. Here is his Death Certificate.

Bio by: Gardee Hill

Family Members



MARRIED MARCH 30, 1940 (though, as noted above, this is incorrect)

  • Maintained by: Tom Nelson
  • Originally Created by: Gardee Hill
  • Added: 16 Mar 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10629074
  • Tom Nelson
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Elizabeth “Betsy” Maxwell Cronkite (25 Jan 1916–15 Mar 2005), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10629074, citing Mount Moriah Cemetery, Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Tom Nelson (contributor 47054245) .