Class of 2012
GOLF VOLUNTEER EXTRODINAIRE
"Giving of yourself" is more than a cliche and Betty Deeley pretty much defines and illustrates the full meaning of that observation.
Charles Ransier and his second wife Doris lived in McConnellsville, New York with Mr. Ransier's son, Charles. In January of 1923 Mrs. Ransier, nine months pregnant, entered a hospital in nearby Syracuse, New York, and gave birth to a healthy baby girl on January 7, 1923.
The Ransiers named their daughter Betty Leona Ransier. Betty went to McConnellsville High School but finished her high school education at Camden High School. That change was caused by the divorce of her mother from her father. She remained with her mother. The time of her graduation in June of 1941 was difficult for Mrs. Ransier and Betty which led to Betty's employment one week after graduation at the medical office of Dr. Laurence McMillan, for whom she worked for twenty five years.
Soon after taking her first job, Betty became interested in golf and began playing at McConnellsville Golf Club and naturally became an enthusiastic golfer.
On March 28, 1948 Betty married Lawrence (Dutch) Deeley who had two daughters and a son by a previous marriage. Two of her stepchildren, Melvin and James, have families that reside in the McConnellsville area. Joanne Vrandenburg lives in Arizona as does her daughter Terry Condy.
Betty and Dutch had a fulfilling and happy marriage until his death in 1990.
Betty worked for Dr. MacMillan until 1966 when he became seriously ill, forcing his retirement and requiring his employment of Betty as a caregiver, which she carried out until his death in 1990.
In 1973 Betty became associated with the New York State Golf Association through David Harden, a former NYSGA President. The next year she was elected to its Executive Commitee during the presidency of Allen Short.
That same year she began her involvement with the Junior Girls Championship and she has chaired it from 1974 through 2012. She also became the chairperson for the Women's Championship in 1980 and still holds that position today.
Those two championships account for eleven full days a year. They alone total seventy championships or over one and a half years of volunteer time, not including two or three weeks of preparation and travel for each Championship.
Until recently, all of the NYSGA Championships included a dinner on the eve of each competition. Betty handled both her two championships and the other five in terms of registration, sale of dinner tickets for guests, seating arrangements, place cards and affiliated details the day BEFORE a championship began. She also acted as starter for all tournaments.
Almost incredibly, she assists at the USGA qualifiers in central New York, now chairs the Senior Women's championship sporadically and has worked in the past at the New York State High School Girls annual golf Championship.
We have no way of knowing, but it is almost a certainty that no other volunteer in golf has worked longer or harder for the love of the game than Betty Deeley - in the entire United States of America. That is thirty eight years of loyalty and love.
But however inane this may sound, Betty's relationship with all the competitors, from 1974 onward, is the more significant contribution which she has made. Each championship and all nine that are presently conducted, are for Betty, like Homecoming - a Homecoming of friends whom she has met through all the golf tournaments.
She has an open and positive friendliness for all, a genuine interest in each individual she meets. She is so constant and consistent that her interest, recollection and joy at seeing these friends every year just expands exponentially as do their numbers.
For too long, and especially in the last thirty years, the term "humanitarian" has been rigidly connected with charitable giving of money to organizations and groups for what is called social reform and human welfare.
It may be argued that an individual may be a humanitarian to other individuals, one at a time, as individuals when he or she gives generously and unselfishly, without an agenda other than good will.
It is hard to explain but to see Betty Deeley with those young girls, who first met Betty at the beginning of their teenage years and are now romancing age fifty, stay friends through the years is truly astonishing. That is perhaps why, in the small world of the New York State Golf Association, Betty Deeley is both universally loved and is the heart, soul, and definitely the queen of our world.
We love her and we are honored that she has graced our presence so fully, loyally, and faithfully.
The Great Scorer will have no difficulty in figuring our how Betty plays the game. Neither will her companion feline, "Maxie".