Betty Gardner Ackerlind was born October 17, 1930 in Neola, Utah to Mary Mazella Jensen Gardner and Leonard Derle Gardner. She graduated from East High and University of Utah. She married Curtis E. Ackerlind, Jr. in November 1951 in the L.D.S. Temple. They were divorced several years later. She returned to school and earned a Masters in Educational Psychology and worked as a counselor at East High, retiring in 1992. In 1994 she was baptized at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.