Cover photo for Betty Jane Carson's Obituary
Betty Jane Carson Profile Photo
1937 Betty 2023

Betty Jane Carson

July 10, 1937 — April 21, 2023


Betty Jane Carson passed away Friday, April 21, 2023 surrounded by loved ones. 


Betty was born to Dennis Niels Christensen and Edith Victoria (Vic) Jolley on July 10th, 1937 at the LDS Riverview Hospital in Idaho Falls. After Vic and Dennis divorced, Vic married Harry Matthew Messenger and added five more children to their family, raising Betty alongside her siblings Vickie Marie (deceased), Billie (Ben, both deceased), Gary (Jeralyn), Barbra (Blaine), and Dale Lee. 


Dennis  also remarried, and added eight more children to the Christensen side of the family: William, Rebecca (Stacy), Dennis (Bethany), Afton (Troy), Wesley (Quinn), Roger (Janie), Shirley (Klaus), and Bill Dockstadder. 


Betty grew up and attended schools in Idaho Falls, graduating from Idaho Falls High School in 1955. Her class was the first to attend all four years at the new school, a fact she was very proud of. She was an adept stenographer, receiving awards in High School for shorthand, stenography and typing.


Betty married Gerald Ray Wilkinson in 1957.  During this union, the couple had two children, Scott G (deceased) and Sharla D. Betty and Jerry later divorced. 


Betty and the kids moved to Shelley in 1968. To support herself and her children Betty held several jobs, notably as a bookkeeper for her father’s brick company and the ID store. Later she started working as a machine operator at the RT French Company (later Pillsbury/Basic American). 


Betty raised Scott and Sharla as a single mother until July 1978, when she married Virgil K (Dick) Nelson. Dick was a loving stepfather and grandfather, doting over his grandchildren and great grandchildren until his passing on January 10th, 2000. 


Grandma Betty had four grandchildren. Scott had Aytum and Jocelyn (Dustin), and Sharla had Jennifer and DJ. Aytum has two children, Mya and Tasia. Jocelyn has two children, Sophia and Jaxon. Jennifer has three children, Braden, Ryleigh and Avery. Mya gave Grandma Betty her first great great grandchild, Analia, and Tasia is expecting Grandma Betty’s second great great grandchild in October 2023. 


After being widowed for several years, Grandma Betty married Val M Carson in July 2005 after decades of close friendship with the entire Carson family. This brought three additional children into the family, Michael, Leann, and Val Beth (Brad). Betty excitedly embraced   her new Carson grandchildren, attending plays and wrestling matches. Betty and Val’s union was full of love, but sadly would be short lived. Val passed away April 23, 2006. 


Grandma Betty loved being grandma to all, collecting countless ‘bonus’ grandchildren over the course of her life, either through marriage or friendships. She proudly introduced herself to everyone as a ‘huggy’ grandma, and insisted that everyone call her Grandma Betty. 


Betty was a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, serving as a Sunday school teacher for many years. She was very excited when she was able to go through the temple on her 64th birthday.


Betty was preceded in death by her mother and father, stepfather, sisters Vickie and Billie, her brother-in-law Ben, and her son, Scott.


She is survived by her daughter, Sharla, Messenger siblings, sister Barbra Ball, brothers Gary, and Dale. Christensen siblings, sisters Becky Freeman, Afton Coles, Shirley Kunkle, brothers Roger, William, Dennis, Wesley, and Bill D. She is also survived by her numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, and one great great granddaughter (with one great great grandchild on the way).


The family will welcome visitors for a viewing Tuesday, April 25th from 6:00pm - 7:30pm at Nalder Funeral Home 110 W. Oak Street in Shelley. Visitation will also be held at the Shelley 4th ward LDS Church 184 N. Park Ave. from 11:00am - 11:45am, followed by family prayer and funeral services at 12:00pm,  with graveside services at Shelley Hillcrest Cemetery immediately following. A luncheon will follow graveside services at the Shelley Fourth Ward LDS Church.


Those who would like to participate in the funeral service remotely are invited to view the service on a live broadcast at












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Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, April 25, 2023

6:00 - 7:30 pm (Mountain time)

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Wednesday, April 26, 2023

11:00 - 11:45 am (Mountain time)

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Mountain time)


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Wednesday, April 26, 2023

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