Her husband died of heart failure when Whitney was a high school senior. Whitney was greatly affected by the death of his father and decided to join the military shortly afterward.
She faithfully waited for her son to complete from his tour of duty in the US Marine Corps and was delighted when he seemingly returned. However, her joy was short-lived when it was discovered that Whitney was being impersonated by Tina Greer. Betty witnessed Tina brutally murder Lt. McNulty, the Marine recruiter sent to inform her that Whitney had died in action. Tina then tortured Mrs. Fordman while trying to gain details on Whitney's life, but she was saved by Clark Kent. After Tina was stopped, Betty learned that Whitney had, in fact, died in action.