Oklahoma City – In a press release from party headquarters here, the Oklahoma Democratic Party said this week that members are “deeply saddened by the news of Betty McElderry’s sudden and untimely death. Betty was a life-long loyal Democrat. She liked to refer to herself as ‘the ultimate loyalist.’ She advocated for Democratic principles and women’s rights.”
Born in Sulphur, Oklahoma, Betty was the daughter of Michael Suchy and Virgie Suchy (née Franks).
McElderry was active in Democratic politics for all her life.
She earned degrees in Education from the University of Oklahoma in 1961 and 1964, returning for her doctorate in 1981.
McElderry served many years as state party chairman, and as a credentials committee member for Democratic National Conventions.
She was active in the American Association of University Women, the League of Women Voters, and the National Education Association.
In 1981, she was named one an Outstanding Democratic Woman.
McElderry was a strong supporter of former President Barack Obama, and in 2016 was a passionate supporter of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. That election cycle, McElderry was one of four national “superdelegates” from Oklahoma.
Characterizing McElderry as a “stalwart,” the state party release said her “years of dedication are unparalleled. The Oklahoma Democratic Party has lost a true patriot to our community and the Democratic family. Our condolences go out to the McElderry family.”
Note: Editor Pat McGuigan contributed to this report.