Please read the following enlightening interview that Sister Betty D’Orazio was kind enough to agree to participate in.
Sister Betty is a baptized member of The Church of Jesus Christ. She is a mother. She is a grandmother. She is a deaconess. She is a widow.
When and where were you born?
I was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on August 31, 1934.
When and where were you baptized?
I was baptized in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, on July 23, 1950, along with 19 other young people.
How many children and grandchildren do you have?
I have two daughters and two grandsons. (Now two granddaughters-in-law)
Tell us about your husband.
I was married to Brother Augie D’Orazio. He was an ordained evangelist and also served as the GMBA President for four years. His love for the young people was seen in his establishing the Thursday Nighters. He had many duties in the church, but he always included his family whenever possible.
What one piece of advice would you give to young mothers?
Absolutely trust in God for all things. Today is a different generation than when I was raising children. But trust in the Lord because even though times have changed, God hasn’t changed. I had a powerful experience when my youngest daughter, Mary, was just 18 months old. Mary was in the bedroom playing with her older sister, Sherry. I heard a voice say, “Go pick up your daughter Mary.” I looked in the bedroom and the girls were fine. Once again, I heard the voice, but this time the voice was stronger: “GO and pick up your daughter.” I went into the bedroom and picked Mary up. As soon as I did, a glass shelf fell right in the spot where she had been sitting. I know it would have killed her. I’m so thankful that I trusted in God and listened to Him that day.
How old were you when you became a widow?
I was 45 years old. Augie passed away at the age of 47 on April 20, 1980, just two weeks before our 25th anniversary. He passed away while attending a General Church Conference in Greensburg, PA.
That must have been very difficult to lose Brother Augie so suddenly.
Absolutely. Prior to his passing, God had given us experiences that something was going to happen to him, but the mind found it too difficult to accept that he was going to die. Without the experiences, it would have been much harder. But it was still a shock.
What advice would you give to widows?
We should try to turn our grief and bereavement into something positive for Christ. As you go through the grief, allow Christ to take over. Otherwise, you’ll become bitter and angry. Try to be open to sharing your sorrow with others. I would cry unto the Lord for peace. Remaining in the work force helped me because it allowed me to continue interacting with others. Being with others is crucial. God directed me to be a volunteer with hospice. This position allowed me to understand what other people were going through, which helped me to be positive for them. It’s important to cry and grieve—a wound cannot heal until you cry. It’s not easy, even to pray. There are times when you have to smile even when you don’t want to. This is my advice, but your grieving process may be different than mine. But I believe it’s most important not to isolate yourself.
How can the church help widows?
Don’t ignore them. Find out if they need assistance. Especially the older ones. When planning activities, remember to include them. Sometimes the only answer to our pain is being with others.
How can the brothers and sisters help widows?
Just be there. Let them know how much you care. Don’t hesitate to mention their husband’s or wife’s name. It makes us happy to hear how much you loved them.
What advice would you give to the wife of an officer in the Church?
Show him your love by supporting him and his position. Be a good listener. Augie and I had a good marriage because we put church first. It was our number-one priority. Do that and all other things will fall into place.
Besides the hope of salvation, what has motivated you to remain a member of the church for 72 years?
I just love the Lord so much that I don’t ever want to be apart from Him.
Besides serving God to the best of their ability, what advice would you give to a new member of the Church?
Learn to make the Lord your partner and best friend. You would never purposely hurt your partner and best friend, so do the same for the Lord, and your life will be blessed. And read His word daily, and as you read, LISTEN to His words.
Do you have any final comments that you would like to share?
The joy of the Lord is my strength (from Nehemiah 8:10).
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.