Betty J. Colwell, 85, passed away peacefully on October 25, 2013, at The Gardens in Yuba City. She died of complications related to Alzheimer's Disease.
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Betty was born in Sioux City, Iowa, on July 23, 1928. When her children were all school age, Betty returned to school to get her degree in elementary education, graduating in 1970 from the University of Portland. She continued her education and received her master's degree in 1971 and later earned her administrator's credential. Betty taught elementary school in Vancouver, Washington for 26 years. As a teacher she especially loved teaching science and topics related to aerospace. In 1981, at the invitation of NASA, she was present at the landing of the very first space shuttle. Betty also served as an adjunct professor for Evergreen State College teaching courses on aerospace and technology.
Betty was a life-long learner. She was an avid reader and loved technology. She was also a "people person" who loved getting to know people and their families. Betty enjoyed downhill skiing on Mt. Hood with her friends and family.
Betty has lived in Yuba City for the past 8 years and was a member of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church. She volunteered in several elementary school classrooms and was a volunteer with Fremont Rideout Auxillary, Sutter County Museum, and Mother Hubbards' Cupboard. Betty was a member of PEO, Chapter HA. She was a breast cancer survivor.
Betty was predeceased by her husband of 42 years, Rex, and by her sisters Beverly Sanford and Joanne Dean.
She is survived by 5 children: Chriss (Ed) Camenzend, Beckie (Chris) Kersting, Joe Bjordal (Ken), Carole (Lloyd) Trilling, Rex (Stacy) Colwell, Jr. She had 10 grandchildren: Ryan Kersting, Corey Kersting, Barry Kersting, Aaron Trilling, Samantha Colwell, Marit Bjordal, Anne Marie Bjordal, Sonia Bjordal, Sarah Loe, and Adam Camenzend. Betty had 9 great grandchildren: Alexandra Kersting, Cameron Kersting, Kate Kersting, Matthew Kersting, Brooke Kersting, Andrew Kersting, Addison Kersting, Caleb Kersting, and Ella Loe. She is also survived by her niece, Jodi Gonzales.
A memorial service celebrating Betty's life will be conducted at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 1390 Franklin Road, Yuba City, at 3:00pm this Sunday, November 3. Burial will be at a later date in Vancouver, Washington. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in Betty's memory to The Gardens, 840 Washington, Yuba City, CA 95991, or to Fremont Rideout Hospice, 939 Live Oak Blvd., Yuba City, CA 95991.
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Published in Appeal Democrat from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1, 2013