Betty Jean Case passed away peacefully on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2015, in Portland, Oregon, at the age of 96. She was born November 13, 1919, with her twin sister Fay. Betty was the proud grandmother of twin boys and had twin brothers, so her curiosity of twin relationships and behavior inspired a research project that would result in three published books, including Living Without Your Twin and an offer to appear on Oprah. Her works took her all over the world for speaking engagements providing insight and comfort to twins everywhere.
A Tribute to Betty Jean Case
By Miriam Brandt-Doetsch
I feel privileged to have been a friend of Betty Jean Case and her husband, Dr. Laurel Case. They attended the first Twinless Twins Conference ever held in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, home of the founder Dr. Raymond Brandt, my late husband. She had come to Indiana for the express purpose of talking “twin loss” with Raymond. She, herself, an identical twin whose twin was still alive, had written books on being a twin, but wanted to research and write about twin loss. And, who better to talk with than Dr. Brandt! Both of them were twins. Dr. Brandt lost his twin at age 21 but Betty Jean’s sister was still living.
During that first meeting, they spent hours discussing the difference between survival and loss. And, out of that meeting and subsequent meetings as well as phone conversations, they began to write articles for magazines and books on “twin loss”. Talking about the problems that arise from twin loss was so new at the time and the two of them were passionate about researching and writing articles and books on their research in order to open the door for more conversation and future research on this subject.
Betty Jean was a very gracious, humble, giving lady. And I do mean lady. She was one you just enjoyed being with a lot. I visited her twice after Raymond’s death and though there were many years of age difference, we had such fun. She was so happy whenever I called, and she always made me feel happy and privileged just talking with her. Dr. Brandt so enjoyed our western trip to Oregon for both of them to work on their writings, but the four of us took a trip to the seacoast as well to the mountain where their son has a home. Not much writing but a lot of talk and deep friendship. Such a precious time.
She graciously gave Twinless Twins her copies and rights of her book, Living Without Your Twin. Many twinless have been helped with their grief because of her writings of such a dear topic to her, for she knew she would be twinless one day as well. Betty Jean once told me that besides being there for her family, she felt she had “fulfilled a need for being there for twins, something that the Lord placed in her heart.” I sincerely agreed.