Betty Jean “Tiny” Vomberg
January 28, 1940 – May 29, 2022
VISITATION: Saturday, June 4th from 10am to 11am at the West Center Chapel, followed by SERVICE at 11am. Interment, Evergreen Memorial Park. Memorials are suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association.
To view a live broadcast of the Service, please visit www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button on the home page.
Betty “Tiny” McMichael Vomberg, 82, of Omaha, passed away May 29, 2022. She was born January 28, 1940, to Prudence Wilkie and Arthur Chittenden, in Des Moines, Iowa. Tiny graduated from Omaha North High School in 1958 and attended Omaha University where she was a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority. She was married to Arthur Vomberg Jr. in 1962. Tiny is survived by her husband of 60 years, Art, sister Peggy Garret of Murphys, California, daughter Jennifer “JJ” McCaw (Tim) and grandsons Zachary and Adam. Tiny was preceded in death by her mother Prudence Wilkie, stepfather W. Irving Wilkie, and brother Don McMichael.
Tiny has always been a survivor. Born with choanal atresia, she underwent her first surgery at only days old. When she was nine years old, Tiny was stricken with polio. She spent many months hospitalized or in a cast, then walked on crutches because of severely affected left leg muscles. Tiny underwent operations for muscle transplants. Told she might never walk without crutches, Tiny proved everyone wrong and not only went on to become a dancer in many musical productions, but taught dancing for several years.
During the 1950s and early 60s Tiny competed in, and often won, many beauty pageants. She was the runner-up for Miss Omaha in 1960, the 1961 University of Omaha Tomakawk Queen, and the Nebraska Motor Sports Show Queen in 1961. Her Miss Omaha pageant photo graced the family wall for as long as the family can remember.
After marrying Art, they eventually moved to Wisconsin where they met John Menard and helped start Menard Cashway Lumber. After 11 years of marriage and opening at least 6 Menard stores, Tiny and Art welcomed their daughter Jennifer Jo (JJ) in April of 1973. They left Menards, and after a short 9-month stint in Cleaveland, Ohio, moved to St. Louis, Missouri where they owned and operated 3 paint and wallpaper stores for over 10 years.
Tragedy struck again in 1982 when their home was destroyed by arson while they were out of town fishing in Canada. Through it all, Tiny kept a stiff upper lip, and worked with her husband to build a new home.
After the sale of the paint and wallpaper stores, Tiny sold real estate in St. Louis and then again in Omaha, Nebraska when they moved in 1995. In 2005, Art and Tiny purchased Art’s High Ridge Self Storage in High Ridge, Missouri and moved to the Lake of the Ozarks. In 2021, they moved back to Omaha to be closer to their daughter and her family.
Tiny was an avid fisherman, boater, seamstress, reader, and crafter. She loved to have people over and was a great host. Tiny touched many lives as a Girl Scout leader for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. She always had an activity planned and will be fondly remembered for annual tree cutting parties after Thanksgiving in St. Louis, Fourth of July get togethers in Omaha, and playing cards until all hours of the morning.
Tiny’s grandsons fondly remember playing hide-and-seek with her, sewing a blanket for their dog, swimming at the Lake of the Ozarks, taking them on their first helicopter ride, and playing cards. She loved hearing about and watching their football games, and even watched them on the computer when possible. Tiny was so proud to wear her Omaha Skutt High School Football shirts with their name and number on the back on game days even when she wasn’t in town!
Tiny loved life and always had a smile on her face. Even though her final months were spent in Memory Care, she was still trying to plan the next party! We will miss her immensely.