Aug 24, 2022

Beth Hudson Chain (1927 - 2022)

Posted Aug 24, 2022 2:14 PM

Beth Hudson Chain, 94, died Monday, August 15, 2022, surrounded by family in her Scottsbluff home. Pastor Michael Clement will officiate her funeral service at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 27, 2022, at the Dugan-Kramer Funeral Home, 3201 Avenue B in Scottsbluff. Interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Scottsbluff. Visitation will be available on Friday between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to Mount Carmel Ministries in Alexandria, Minnesota, or to the Western Nebraska Community College Foundation, where gifts will benefit student scholarships. Online condolences for the family may be left at

Born on December 10, 1927, in Brownsville, Texas, Beth was the oldest of Florence and Charles (“Ted”) Hudson’s four children. She grew up on her family’s citrus farm in the lower Rio Grande Valley. There, near the Mexican border, Beth learned Spanish and enjoyed playing among the farm’s grapefruit, orange, tangerine, and kumquat trees. She often accompanied her father on his nightly walks through the orchard. She remembered his discovery of the world’s first ruby-red grapefruit, which he named “Ted’s Red” and worked for decades to cultivate for sale.

Beth graduated from San Benito High School, where students voted her “Best All-Round Girl.” She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied English and Spanish and was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Beth was an associate justice of the student court and president of the university’s Orange Jackets, a selective group of 20 outstanding women who performed campus services, such as running campus voting and ushering large events. She was also a Mortar Board member and among nine women named outstanding students by The Cactus, her senior class yearbook.

World War II ended just as Beth began her sophomore year, and the campus soon swelled with returning veterans. One of those men was John (“Jack”) H. Chain, whom Beth first met in a rainstorm during the summer before her senior year. On their first date, Jack began wooing her with a gourmet picnic. They married on June 25, 1949, immediately after Beth’s college graduation.

Jack was a petroleum engineer and initially employed by an oil company called American Republics. The company posted Beth and Jack to Artesia, New Mexico, where their daughter, Priscilla, was born in December 1950. The company later transferred the family to Midland, Texas, where son John was born in February 1953. Because of Jack’s desire to work as an independent oil operator, the family moved to Scottsbluff later that year.

The couple made their permanent home here, where Beth was active in civic and religious life. She taught at various schools, including Western Nebraska Community College. She served on the Scottsbluff Public Library Board and was instrumental in arranging the design and construction of its current facility. Beth was also a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church, where she taught Sunday school, and an early and strong supporter of Community Christian School. Additionally, Beth was a founder and chairwoman of the Scottsbluff Christian Women’s Club. As a presenter for this organization, she traveled in the Midwest to explain how God, faith, and family helped her survive the untimely and unexpected death of her daughter. Beth was similarly active in Alexandria, Minnesota, where she and Jack spent their summers.

Beth was warm, loving, and loyal to her family. As just one example, she arranged every aspect of care for her learning-disabled brother for nearly 40 years. Beth was also curious, adventurous, and a life-long learner. She enjoyed travel, birdwatching, gardening, wild flowers, bridge, history, and classical music. She was a gracious and generous host with long-time friends from all walks of life. Her favorite activity was spending time with Jack, who also inspired her to ski, golf, canoe, and fish.

Beth was preceded in death by Jack, her husband of 65 years; her daughter, Priscilla Chain Beck; her parents; and her siblings – Charles, Jim, and Ann. She is survived by her son, John Chain, and daughter-in-law, Cynthia (Skiles) Chain, of Overland Park, Kansas; her son-in-law, William Beck, of San Antonio, Texas; her four grandchildren – Amanda Beck and husband Stephen Cody of Somerville, Massachusetts; Rebecca McDonald and husband Jefferey McDonald of Overland Park, Kansas; Zachary Chain of Lincoln, Nebraska; and Alexandra Chain of Brooklyn, New York; six great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and friends.