Betty Ruth Weber

Honored by:Christine Rice
Brick location:B:13  map

Betty Ruth (Bokland) Weber is my mother. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania two weeks after "Black Monday" in 1929. She married my father Richard N. Weber in 1948 and moved to Skokie, Illinois. In 1954, they moved with their three children to Rolling Meadows, Illinois. In the early 1960s my parents divorced and my mother became responsible for raising the children and paying all bills except the mortgage on the house.

As I grew up, I watched my mother do anything that needed to be done: put up drywall tile floors, fix the plumbing, repair the lawnmower, sew, cook and much more (in addition to her full-time job). Her undaunted spirit left a deep impression on me. Her willingness to tackle anything demonstrated a self-confidence that followed me through high school, college and thereafter.

Shortly after obtaining my B.S. in English from Iowa State I received a call from an Ames car dealership asking me to come interview for a sales position (at the time selling cars was a "man's job"). During the interview my boss-to-be asked me if I thought I could sell cars. I told him my concern was not if I could, but if I wanted to sell cars. I sold cars for 2 and 1/2 years.

After selling cars, I went back to Iowa State for an accounting major (Iowa State did not have a masters program at the time). My next career was with a national CPA firm in Des Moines. It did not bother me in the least that this too was more of a "man's" career (at the time).

Subsequent to the CPA firm, I went to work for a bank as an internal auditor. I eventually became head of the Audit Department. After being an internal auditor for several years, the bank decided to develop a Product Development department. I was asked if I had an interest. Again, with no hesitation, I began the process of starting a new department from scratch.

Looking back, I can see that my mother played a strong role in how I perceived my career choices. There was no delineation in my mind between a "man's career" or a "woman's career." By her example, she enabled me to set my sights on whatever career I chose.