Media is loading


Sarner, Betty

Document Type

Oral History

Date of Interview



Betty Myers Sarner was born on 3 December 1923 in St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota. The youngest of three children, Betty was raised by her mother after her parents divorced in the early 1930s. She graduated from St. Paul's Monroe High School in 1941, then held a number of jobs over the next two years; these included office work at a shipyard in Richmond, California, and for the Northern Pacific Railroad in St. Paul. In May 1944, desiring a change, Betty joined the US Navy WAVES. Following Basic Training at Hunter College in New York City, Betty was stationed in Washington, D.C., in the communications division; her duties were primarily administrative and clerical. With the end of the war in August 1945, personnel requirements changed, and in November Betty was discharged with the rank of specialist third class. A civilian again, Betty returned to St. Paul and her job at the Northern Pacific Railroad. She got married in 1947 to Thorvald Sarner, a Marine Corps veteran of the Pacific battles of New Guinea (1943), Peleliu (1944), and Okinawa (1945). Betty and Thorvald raised a family; after years as a homemaker, Betty went to work at North High School in North St. Paul, Minnesota, retiring in 1984. At the time of this interview (October 2002) Betty lived in the St. Paul suburb of Oakdale.


All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced without the written permission of Concordia University Library or Thomas Saylor, Department of History, Concordia University, St. Paul.

Betty Sarner - Transcript.pdf (710 kB)
PDF Transcript of Interview with Betty Sarner