Cover photo for Betty "Jo" (Read)  Trakimas's Obituary
Betty "Jo" (Read)  Trakimas Profile Photo
1944 Betty 2020

Betty "Jo" (Read) Trakimas

July 9, 1944 — April 17, 2020


Betty “Jo” Read Trakimas, 75, a beloved pillar of the central Indiana theatre and arts community, left this world peacefully in her sleep Friday morning, April 17, 2020, after a valiant fight against metastatic breast cancer.  Jo’s been described as extraordinary, compassionate, wise, poised, strong, encouraging, influential, gracious, and so much more than a voice teacher.

Jo was born in Memphis, Tennessee but called Indiana home for more than 50 years.  She served as a private voice teacher in Carmel for over 38 years, nurturing her students not solely as their teacher, but as their mentor and confidante, inspiring them to gain their self-confidence and to discover their self-worth.

Jo was an avid supporter of the central Indiana performing and cultural arts community.  In addition to teaching young performers, she herself performed in many local shows.  She played a supporting role when The Indianapolis Children’s Choir was created and is credited with loving, supporting and building confidence in those young children.

She loved to travel abroad, and was a life-learner of cultures, history and the arts.  Jo and her husband, Bill, created many lasting friendships in their travels and enjoyed staying in touch with their newfound friends.  She had a travel journal entitled “You can never be overdressed or overeducated,” which sums up just a couple of her many tenets.  She was easy to talk to and generously provided sage advice.  “Sit Long, Talk Much” is a sign that has hung proudly on her porch and welcomed many long conversations.

She was a devoted wife to her husband of 31 years, William L. Trakimas, and a loving mother to her children, Shelbi George (Steve), Elliot Read (Kim) and Ben Wright (Amy).  She is survived as well by her brother, William T. “Ted” Mayhall, Jr. (Minnie) of Memphis.  Her grandchildren, Hannah and Teddy George, Emery and Gabriel Read, and Lillie, Emma Grace, Beau and Bitty Wright, will greatly miss their “Buppy” and the many trips to museums, cities and experiences that helped mold them and stimulate their curiosities. She was preceded in death by her father and mother, William T. Mayhall, Sr. and Marie Bailey Mayhall, and her sister, Ann Hassell.

A celebration of her gracious and rich life will be held for her many friends and large family at a later date.  The family with the help of the Arts Council of Indianapolis created the Jo Read Trakimas Legacy Arts Fund which will directly support central Indiana artists and arts organizations that were so near and dear to Jo.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider supporting the fund by clicking here .

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty "Jo" (Read) Trakimas, please visit our flower store.


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