Actress Betty White, a beloved comedian who began acting at the age of eight, died on Dec. 31, 2021 at the age of 99.
Although best known for her role in the “Golden Girls” sitcom, she also served during World War II in the American Women’s Voluntary Services.
The organization was the largest American women’s service organization during the war. American Women’s Voluntary Services had about 18,000 members when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. As the war continued, more than 325,000 women were trained by AWVS. The women sold war bonds, delivered messages, drove ambulances, trucks, cycle corps, and were dog-sled teamsters. They worked in navigation, aerial photography, aircraft spotting, sewing, fire safety, as mechanics, in cryptography, switchboard operation, and brought food services to armed forces posts, disaster workers, and wounded servicemen.
“AWVS workshops turned out more than one million new or reconditioned articles of clothing for servicemen, hospitals, and other users while also publishing booklets and conducting public classes for housewives about preserving and repairing clothing,” according to Britannica. “AWVS members sold more than $1 billion worth of war bonds and stamps during the war.”
“We are saddened by the passing of Betty White,” the U.S. Army tweeted on Friday. “Not only was she an amazing actress, she also served during World War II as a member of the American Women’s Voluntary Services.”
White’s 70+ year career in Hollywood included a role on the “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” and being the host of “Saturday Night Live.”
Her career got its second wind when she was in her 80s, as she appeared in a Super Bowl commercial.
She was looking forward to her 100th birthday on Jan. 17, 2022, but died overnight at her home in Brentwood, Calif., according to the Los Angeles Times, which noted she was the last surviving star of “The Golden Girls.”