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Billie Jean King’s mother, Betty Moffitt, dies

February 7, 2014

PRESCOTT, Arizona (AP) — Betty Moffitt, the mother of tennis great Billie Jean King and former major league pitcher Randy Moffitt, died Friday in Arizona. She was 91.

She died at home with her children by her side, King’s publicist told The Associated Press.

King announced Wednesday that she wouldn’t attend the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics with the U.S. delegation because of her mother’s failing health.

King described her mother as a good swimmer and dancer, who helped the tennis prodigy remain balanced with piano lessons and school work.

Betty Jerman was born on May 26, 1922, in Taft, California. She married Bill Moffitt and raised their two children in Long Beach, California, where they lived for more than 40 years. They were married 65 years.

At King’s 60th birthday party in 2003 in Beverly Hills, California, the dance floor cleared when the couple twirled to Glenn Miller’s big-band era hit, “In the Mood.”

Bill Moffitt died in 2006, the year the U.S. tennis center that hosts the U.S. Open in New York was renamed for King. Betty Moffitt attended the renaming ceremony with her daughter.

Private services are planned.

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