Betty's life.... I can't imagine reading a sweeter or more perfectly written story - better than all the fiction books in her library, for sure! I've been gone from Pelican for too many years to count, but I still remember the figure of a woman on the boardwalk, (in the rain, of course!) walking with purpose towards the library, carrying parcels and a forever smiling countenance. Grace. Warmth. Dignity. Beloved. Never forgotten.
Beautifully written, Carl. You carry on your Grandma's legacy. Your stories confirm everything I felt during my few, but special, visits in your grandparents' home, and wish I had arrived there sooner in my life. But so wonderful to think of how far her love has spread, and all the lives it touched, beginning at the start of her life in eastern Washington, and then from the tiny town of Pelican, now to friends of hers and yours far and wide. Thank you for writing this and peace and blessings to you.
A rare gem.
Betty in her library was a port in the storm for many a weary fish/crab house worker.
She was so generous and kind.
When she smiled it lit up her whole face and reached out into your heart.
Rest in peace dear lady
She was alovely woman and good friend all the yearsthey lived in Petersburg. Eric was a close friend of our son David and John served in the coast guard with my husband Harold. Sincerely,Roxy Lee-Petersburg
Your Grandmother shared her talents, which were countless and diverse with all who knew and respected her . Blithe Spirit, she was all that and more. Her husband, John , and her children were there to welcome her home, and will be watching over you . Our condolences . The Kenney family , formerly of Pelican.
Carl, thank you for introducing your grandmother so beautifully to those of us who were not lucky enough to know her in person -- though I'm so glad I was able to help get you and your father a chair for her that time, when you all three arrived early for a Shakespeare play! Love, Larri
To the Woods/Clauson family and friends, I wanted to extend my deepest heartfelt sympathy on the loss of your love one. May God strengthen your you all, in your time of bereavement 1 Corinthian 1:3,4.
I did not have the pleasure of knowing Betty but Pelican was sure the better for her being there as the librarian and also providing a warm place for the kids of Pelican to feel like home.
She was born the same year as my mom in the same part of Wash State and that generation produced a lot of strong wonderful women. Peace to her family with her passing.
I was not honored with knowing this amazing woman, but the words regarding her life, love and legacy moved me deeply. I should hope to be a fraction of a person. Thank you for sharing her story. All who knew her were truly lucky. My sincerest condolensces to Pelican, to her grandson especially.
What a wonderful obituary. It brought back so many great memories and some of the "essence" of Betty. Pelican's community benefited greatly from her presence there.
I am so grateful that Betty was a part of my life. Through almost 50 yrs. she was always there when I needed support, a visit that almost always included lunch, or tea, cozy, warm home to get in out of the weather. She was always helpful and cheerful.
Thank goodness she was a very strong and persistent person; otherwise the library might not have developed to the extent it did. I feel the name should be changed to the Betty Clauson Memorial Library.
The new door sure makes the library look better - even has a new window.
I will never forget her..
Thank you for writing that, Carl, and for finding exactly the right words in stories. She made every one of feel special -- as if each of us was the only target of that benign, comforting and nurturing presence. How did she do that, while nurturing the whole world? I loved her, as everyone did.
I am so glad i got to share a little bit of Betty's life. She had such a lovely twinkle in her eye and told such beautiful stories of her adventurous life. My condolences to her family and friends, and all of Pelican!
What wonderful tribute for a special lady. For years she ran the Library as a volunteer paying for supplies out of her own pocket, stretching every penny (envelops cut in half for card pockets because they did the job but were cheaper than proper pockets). It was only in the last few years she was paid a wage and had a budget. But no matter how much she had to "make do", she always made the Library a warm & welcoming place for everyone. She made it a place where children could go to play when they wanted out of the house & it was raining. She was more than just the Librarian.
i forgot to sign my message...yes heaven will be a better place with Betty there.
with fondest memories....maura o'brien-phillips
betty was the best librarian and piano teacher ever, sooo nice to every one , she even played the piano at my wedding .<3 <3
Betty....can any of us say we knew of a sweeter,kinder,nurturing lady? My children are 25 and 26 and I have the fondest memories of her reading to
them before they were 5 and 6. To have known a woman that had both strength and kindness has enriched my life...not to mention all the young minds she impacted. Heaven will be a better place because it is blessed with
What a beautiful obituary. I have such wonderful memories of spending time at the library growing up. Story hour when I was little. Discovering mystery books, suggested by Betty of course, when I was older. And ducking into the library to get out of the rain as a teenager. Betty always had a warm smile and made you feel like she was always expecting you. It's hard to imagine Pelican without Betty. Such fond memories of her. Ever since moving away from Pelican whenever I heard updates on home just hearing her name, Betty Clauson, made me smile. She will be missed and remembered always!
Betty belonged to an amazing generation. She was one of the best of the best.
A wonderful tribute to Betty and John. Yes, she was a woman of great integrity and amazing inner strength; yet so very tender with the Pelican children.
Rest in Peace dear Betty.
Condolences to Carl, Bill and Marilyn.
Friends of the Pelican Library
PO Box 712
Pelican, AK 99832
Betty is a founding member and a signator of a fundraising account for library building improvements at the Pelican Library. The "Friends" recently installed a new front door!
My fondest memories of Betty was, going to the Library to play as a child. She really drilled into our heads, the importance of reading and imagination. She would read to us and gave us Pelican children a warm and safe place to go. Could not have been a more friendly person in that town. The world was a better place with her.
Going to the library to listen to Betty read to us, or hiking all the way up to her house to have cookies were a way of life for the kids of Pelican! She taught me to love books and the adventures that were just waiting for me between the covers! An amazing woman, who added joy to all those she touched!
I grew up in Pelican along with Betty and Johns children. My memories are sitting at the kitchen table with cookies, playing on there beach with Cchris, Betty at the library,teaching Sunday school . .. one time one of the school
lteacher,s died PELICAN was without teachers in mid winter, Betty and the other Pelican mothers took over and held class in there homes. So I remember her as my first he Dr teacher again at the kitchen table. So many great thins came from that kitchen table. Good memories.
Betty will forever remain in my heart...she is a very kind soul who loved all of us Pelican Kids :) You will be dearly missed by all...the library just isn't the same without your smiling face behind the desk.
Thank you for this beautiful writing about Betty.
My favorite memories:
-Coming through her door from a wild skiffride covered in wet raingear and getting out of it all to sit down and have tea and cookies and bask in Betty's love and hospitality.
-Playing with the tiny dollhouse and miniature beds and dolls when I was little. I was so amazed and happy playing with them.
-Learning to love books and finding wonderful ones at Betty's Library.
-Being able to call home at Betty and John's from college. My folks didn't have a phone then and came in once a week so I could call them at Betty and John's. And calling other times too to talk to Betty when i was homesick.
- Running away from school to Betty and John's when the kids teased me at school and she fed me cookies and didn't make me go back to school that day :)
-And many more...
Thank you Betty for being my Pelican grandma- you were such an important person to me-and shared so beautifully with everyone your grace, presence, kindness and mischievous good humour. I'm so glad you came to Alaska.
I have so many memories of John and Betty! She was a large part of my childhood in Pelican. Two memories came to mind when I read this. I loved the paper cups we made to drink out of at the library. The other one was when I was up playing on a train set, eating cookies and candy while everyone in Pelican was out looking for me. They will both be missed.
I have so many memories of John and Betty! She was a large part of my childhood in Pelican. I have to say the paper cups we made at the library to drink out of and the time everyone in Pelican was looking for me one evening while I was at their house eating cookies and candy playing with a train are the two memories that came to my mind while reading this.
Betty was truly a wonderful individual and Aunt. The obituary was beautifully done because it recapped her life so perfectly, i even learned a few things. We will treasure our memories of all the years together and will miss her with all our hearts. Betty left such an impact on so many lives, and the memory of her will never die.