Betty Lou Oppenheim, mother of actress Jill St. John and founder of People Helping People USA, died April 2 from complications of leukemia at her home near Palm Springs. She was 85.

Oppenheim founded Care America to provide assistance to victims of earthquake damages preceding the Sylmar Valley Earthquake. Care America’s name was later changed to People Helping People, USA.

She also was a founding member of the Screen Smart Set, an auxiliary of the Motion Picture and Television Fund.

She is survived by her daughter.

A private service will be held at Hillside Memorial Park in Los Angeles during the last week of April.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to People Helping People, USA, c/o Henrietta Mac Gregor, President, 11006 Muirfield Dr., Rancho Mirage, CA 92270.