Nebraska Ornithologists' Union



Neal Ratzlaff

Date of this Version



Ratzlaff, "In Memory of Elizabeth Grenon," from Nebraska Bird Review (December 2016) 84(4).


Copyright 2016 Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union. Used by permission.


On November 11, 2016 cancer claimed the life of longtime member and friend of NOU Betty Grenon, perhaps best remembered as our very intelligent, personable, meticulous treasurer and tenacious guardian of organization funds. Our records indicate Betty became a member in 1991. Her talents and qualifications (CPA and Nebraska's first female Certified Management Accountant) were soon recognized. She became NOU Treasurer in 1994, a position held until her death, except for a 3-year hiatus when her employment with Enron took her to Houston, Texas. NOU has benefited in a number of other ways from Betty's organizational skills and attention to detail. Betty was often the "glue" that held things together or the "grease" that kept them moving. She was born in Connecticut and lived in a number of states and abroad with her Air Force family before coming to Bellevue, Nebraska, in 1974, where she and her family discovered Fontenelle Forest. She was the volunteer coordinator of the Omaha Christmas Bird Count (and the spring count) for many years, continuing the traditional chili potluck compilation at day's end. Betty trained for and eventually obtained a bird banding permit, which qualified her to do educational programs and initiate a long-term MAPS station, using banding to investigate bird productivity and survival. She was active in the Inland Bird Banding Association and was also a certified Nebraska Master Naturalist. She loved the view of the woods from her home near Fontenelle Forest, witnessing the historic return of Wild Turkeys, nesting Cooper's Hawks, and Pileated Woodpeckers from her living room as well as the birds she coddled at the feeders.