by M.J. Schmitt

Yet another charter member of ACB has passed away recently Bettye Krause. She became a student at the Texas School for the Blind in 1936. She is remembered by her classmates for her unusual ability to tap dance, and she performed this effectively on roller skates during exhibitions that people came from miles around to see. After graduation in 1946, she attended North Texas State Teachers College, where she obtained a degree in special education so that she could teach blind and visually impaired children.

While teaching in Nevada, she married and had a daughter, Verna Powell, who predeceased her. In 1959, at the NFB convention in Santa Fe, she met David Krause. They were married in 1960 and she moved to Washington, D.C., where she once again began teaching blind and visually impaired children. While living in Washington, Bettye and Dave frequently opened their home to friends who were looking for work.

One little-known fact about Bettye was her genuine concern for the children she taught. She worked with a school filled with children coming from low-income families, and noticed first their inattentiveness and the reason for it: they were hungry, and there were no school lunch programs at that time. Out of her own pocket she would buy milk and graham crackers and give them to her students. If that's not grassroots caring, I don't know what is!

The Krauses retired and moved to Las Vegas in the 1970s. They were among a small group of people who walked off the convention floor in 1961 and went into the Aladdin Hotel and formed the American Council of the Blind. They were members while in D.C. and were the major organizers and recruiters for the Nevada Council of the Blind. Bettye was its president for a term or two, its secretary at other times, and served wherever there was a need. They headed the local team for our first Las Vegas convention in 1985.

She once made me a beautiful afghan. Now, every time I cuddle down under it, I'll remember her with genuine fondness. She was ACB through and through.

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