Elizabeth Ann Alani

April 23, 1931April 7, 2021

Elizabeth “Betty” Ann Alani, 89, a resident of Bloomington, Indiana, died April 7, 2021. Born Elizabeth Murphey on April 23, 1931 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Alani was the daughter of Howard Frederick Murphey and Frances Ann Warne.

Betty grew up near Lake Winola, Pennsylvania, where she swam, canoed, rode horses and played cards. Her cocker spaniel, Blackie, and her black cat, Smokey, enjoyed swimming in the lake with her. She graduated from Scranton Central High School in 1949. Betty’s nicknames included “E Y,” because she often found herself explaining the unique spelling of her last name, and “Murph.” A baseball fan, she enjoyed catching the train with her father to New York City to watch the Yankees play at Yankee Stadium.

Betty sang in her choir with an alto-contralto voice and played viola and french horn. Her favorite song to sing was “Over the Rainbow.” She worked at the International Salt Company and played catcher for the company’s softball team. She learned how to fly in a Piper Cub airplane. She played golf at the local country club. She loved animals, especially Siamese cats. She collected cat figurines.

Betty studied music at Mansfield State Teachers College in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. She moved to Bloomington, Indiana in the 1950s, following her childhood best friend Virginia “Ginny” Ollis Gest, who died in 2017. In Bloomington she met her husband Salman Alani, who was a PhD student from Iraq. They married in Beck Chapel on Indiana University’s campus.

In 1963 Betty gave birth to her first child, David. The family moved briefly to Canada, where they welcomed son Salim in 1964 and daughter Hala in 1966. They moved back to Bloomington where they welcomed their youngest child, Omar, in 1972.

Betty kept up with all Indiana University sports, as well as the NFL and MLB. She competed on a local bowling team and won a championship. Ever the card shark, she also played in IU’s bridge club. In 1984, U.S. Olympic basketball players Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and Charles Barkley visited IU to play in Assembly Hall with former coach Bobby Knight. The university closed the Indiana Memorial Union to all Bloomingtonians — with the exception of the bridge club. While on her way to play cards, Betty rode in an elevator with Ewing. This was quite a special experience for the devoted sports fan.

Ewing wasn’t Betty’s only brush with fame. While planning a convention for the Islamic Society of North America, she caught a glimpse of Tony Bennett. She met former President Richard Nixon and shook his hand. She watched Ted Williams play with the minor league Red Barons in her hometown of Scranton.

An avid reader, Betty loved mysteries, particularly the works of Agatha Christie. She enjoyed watching “Perry Mason” and “Murder She Wrote.” She never missed “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy.” She stayed up late to laugh at fellow Hoosier David Letterman’s jokes. She even switched her cable provider to maintain access to the Hallmark channel. She paid close attention to current events and was a subscriber to The Herald-Times. She enjoyed discussing the news with her granddaughter Hannah, a journalist. She loved listening to her grandson Alex play oboe. She treasured all of her grandchildren deeply.

Betty traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe and the Middle East. She made the Umrah (“Small Pilgrimage”) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and often visited her daughter and grandchildren in the United Arab Emirates.

Betty loved to cook and was famous for her peanut butter pie and chocolate and carrot cake recipes. Yorkshire pudding, cheesy poof snacks, hard candy and dark chocolate were among her favorite treats. On Thanksgiving, after cooking for her family, she would prepare a special meal for the family’s cat. Her greatest joy was feeding people. Close friends called her “Mom."

Surviving are Betty’s four children: David Alani and wife Kelley Alani, Bloomington; Dr. Salim Alani and wife Mayada Alani, Garden Grove, California; Hala Alani and husband Ismail Alanoohi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Omar Alani and partner Liz Pearson, Bloomington. Also surviving are the father of Betty’s children, Dr. Salman Alani, Bloomington; her brother the Rev. Canon William Murphey and partner Anne Yellott, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; her step-brother the Rev. Canon William Warne II and wife, Frances Warne, Lake Winola, Pennsylvania; her step-sisters Sandra Johns, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, Donna Saunders, Lake Winola, Diane Cole, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania; her 16 grandchildren Hannah Murphey Alani, Chicago, and Joseph and Thomas Alani, Bloomington; Abdullah, AbuBakr, Selsabeel and Tessneem Alani, Garden Grove, California; AbdulRahim, Abdulla, Amna, AbdulAziz, AbdulSalam, Fatma, Aisha, and AlHasan Alanoohi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Alex Alani, Bloomington; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and great-grandchildren; and her beloved cat, Tiger Lilly.

Betty is preceded in death by her grandson Abdulrahman Alanoohi; stepmother Edna Murphey; mother Frances Ann Warne; father Howard Frederick Murphey; uncle Tom A Warne; aunts Eleanor Naeher and Margie Gable; great-aunt Elizabeth Phillips Warne; and great-uncle William T Warne I.

A burial was held privately at Valhalla Memorial Gardens in Bloomington. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) or the Monroe County Humane Association (MCHA). Arrangements by the Day & Deremiah-Frye Funeral Home.

The Alani family thanks the IU Health staff, including the critical care and palliative care nurses and doctors, who cared for Betty in her final days. The staff provided great comfort to the Alani family during this difficult time.

Online condolences may be left for the family at


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Elizabeth Ann Alani

have a memory or condolence to add?

jeff kennedy

April 13, 2021

Hello, this is for the Alani family. On behalf of my father and myself, I offer my deepest condolences and hope they are well. I hope they find strength in this difficult time.

Sherrie Shuler

April 12, 2021

We offer our deepest condolences for the loss of your dear mother and grandmother, who was such an inspiration to so many. May you find comfort and peace during these difficult days in the love of family and friends and in the precious memories of a life well lived.
In deepest sympathy,
United Way of Monroe County staff

Hala Alani

April 8, 2021

May Allah (God) reward everyone for such kind words and prayers she truly was everything that everyone says and much more. I can’t put into words how much I love and miss her. There’s no one who loves you and cares about you in this life like your own mother. Mah Allah have mercy on her. May Allah make her grave wide and spacious and filled with light. May Allah bless her with the highest rank in paradise Janat al Firdous. May Allah give me and all my family patience in this big test. Verily we belong to Allah and to Him we will return. To Allah is what He gave and to Him what He takes and everything is written by fate. Ameen

anne yellott

April 8, 2021

I got to know your lovely mother when she visited your grandfather at Lake Winola in the summer. Your Uncle Bill and I always timed our visits so we could be together. She was a devoted daughter and her visits meant so much to your grandfather and we delighted in them too.
Bloomington is a long ways from Harrisburg so the telephone was our connection in the last few years. She kept us up on all the family news. With a family the size of yours there was much to talk about, and always with so much love and pride.
She exemplified generosity of spirit as well as deed and was a blessing to us all. May Light perpetual shine upon her.


April 8, 2021

The great grandmother of my sons is like my grandmother. Since I saw her, I loved her. I loved her kindness and her white heart. She like my sons EISSA and MOHAMED always  she was asking about them, thats makes me feel she is with us.
I will not forget her beauty face tabarakallah.
I was hoping she would live with us in Abu Dhabi to share with her every beautiful moment.
she may be gone from this world, she'll forever live in our hearts and memories. What we can do for her is give charity for her and never forget her in our prayers and dua'as so that we all meet in Al Firdaus paradise Inshallah.

Aisha Alanoohi

April 8, 2021


I will always remember those beautiful warm hugs and cuddle kisses you always gave me.

I remember those beautiful days when you came to visit us in Abu Dhabi, we would sit all together and the place was filled with laughter and joy with you there.

I remember how happy you looked when you had henna done on your hands for the very first time.

I still have those beautiful gifts and dolls that you gave me since I was young, they mean a lot to me.

“ I could still see you’re face clearly in my mind that’s filled with lots of love, smile and laughter that I would never forget.

The love you had for me was unconditional and eternal ... you are not with me anymore but you’re love will always stay in my heart and my memories.

May Allah grant you all peace and the utmost place in Jannatul Firdaus and give us patience.

Hannah Alani

April 8, 2021

I will always treasure our long talks about the news, cats, plants, books and the world. I miss you very much, as do many others. You left a large impact on the many people you met in your life and the communities in which you lived. I hope Great-Grandpa is up in heaven giving you a big hug and telling jokes about fitting all of Lake Winona into a bucket.

Fatma Alanoohi

April 8, 2021

I remember when I was kid, she would always come with my mom in the car to pick me, my brother and sister from school. She always beared with our nonstop fights. I remember sitting with her and she would help me study and sang for me old McDonald's and other nursery rhymes. I remember her warm hugs. She used to come to us in Abu Dhabi every year even though her health wasn't that good. I remember whenever we went to visit her in America she would be happy when we're there and would be upset whenever we left. She's the best grandmother I could've asked for. I never had a bad memory of her. I wish I could've been there in her last moments and even before that so she won't feel lonely. Although she may be gone from this world, she'll forever live in our hearts and memories. What we can do for her is give charity for her and never forget her in our prayers and dua'as so that we all meet in Al Firdaus paradise Inshallah.

Juliana Samsu

April 8, 2021

We lost our dear mom today. She touched so many hearts and lives. We will never forget her kindness, beautiful smiles, generosity and compassion she showed us, her adopted foreign students from all over the world. She is remembered and mourn from Bloomington, Indiana all the way to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and many places in between.

We pray that Allah bestow comfort, patience and Sakeenah to all the family members especially to sons David, Salim and Omar and daughter, Hala. Also to her brothers and sisters and others, some I have visited with mom many years ago, in Scranton and Clarks Summit, PA.

Dear mom, we pray that Allah bless and forgive you and shower you with His Mercy and will make your grave a lighted resting place. May Allah grant you a place in Jannatul Firdaus without any hisaab. Allahumma Aamiin.

One of your many Malaysian daughters,

Niti Nik Hussein

April 8, 2021

Mum has a big heart and may Allah SWT reward her for her kind deeds . She entertained us during the festive seasons where we Malaysian friends of Hala got to enjoy her generous hospitality . Those were the years I did my undergraduate study at IU . Then when I was in the States for my husband ‘s master program.. she came to visit me I in 1994 .. and told me that she had converted to Islam . May Allah SWT bless her soul and put sweet Mum in his best care . Aamiin Ya Rabb .