August 2, 2023

Betty Ann Massey (nee O'Neal), 76, of Staunton passed away peacefully Saturday, July 22, 2023, at Arcola Health Center in Arcola, Ill. Betty was born May 3, 1947, to Robert "Bob" and Olga "Butch" O'Neal (nee Pernichele) at St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield.

Betty attended St. Michael's School in Staunton and Staunton High School, graduating in 1965. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1972 with a BS in Home Economics with an emphasis on Home Economics in Business. During her time at EIU she was a photographer for The Warbler, EIU's student yearbook, as well as The Eastern, EIU's student newspaper.

Betty worked for Myers Brothers, McDonnell Douglas and for many years at Cassens Transport Company in Edwardsville, retiring in time to be a wonderful grandmother and further pursue her interests.

Betty enjoyed movies, photography, vacations and holidays. She documented every family occasion in detail and was known as the family photographer. She lit up around children and became an expert at snapping the perfect photo of all the youngest family members during holiday gatherings, no matter how naughty some of the kids were being. The photos she took represent cherished family memories and will be a link to the past for future generations.

She enjoyed music in many forms, singing in the choir at St. Michael's Church where she was a member for many years. Betty also was very involved with genealogy, tracing family lineages for generations and helping others with their research.

Betty loved football and attended many high school and professional games. She could often be found yelling at the television on Sunday afternoons and Monday nights. She also attended many performances at the Fox Theatre and The Muny. She later developed a talent for creating beautiful cards utilizing her scrapbooking and stamp art skills.

Betty is survived by her daughter, Cathy Brister; and grandson, Matthew Brister; Uncle Albert (Mary) Pernichele of Corvalis, Mont .; and many cousins.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Aunts Elsie (husband, Armond) Pacchetti, Peggy (husband, Frank) Martini and Lynette (husband, George) Spudich, Uncles Geno (wife, June) Pernichele, Bruno (wife, Mary) Pernichele and Calvin (wife, Mary) O'Neal.

Betty wished for her remains to be cremated and buried with her parents. A private graveside service will be held at a later date.

Williamson Funeral Home, Staunton, is in charge of arrangements. To leave an on-line condolence, please visit

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