Betty Fitch Schroder
January 23, 1919 - July 28, 2013
Betty Fitch Schroder, 94, of Modesto, died of natural csuses at her home, on July 28, 2013, surrounded by family. She was born in Modesto to the late B.R. and Julia Fitch on January 23, 1919.
Betty went to local schools and graduated from Modesto High in 1936 and MJC in 1938. She became a pioneer in local aviation when she made her solo airplane flight on July 27, 1939.
Betty worked first as a reporter at the Modesto Bee. She was public relations representative for Sportsmen of Stanislaus; writing, photographing, and publishing the in-house SOS News.
From there she moved on to Baird Photo where she worked as staff photographer for 25 years, doing studio portraiture, wedding photography, and commercial photography. She and the late Pete Baird were a teaching team during those years, instructing amateurs at MJC and private seminars. They also taught studio portraiture to professionals at the Brooks Institute. She has been awarded the title of "Master Photographer".
Upon retiring from Baird Photo, Betty did some traveling with her son, Sam. She continued to take photographs and enjoy journalistic pursuits until she could no longer.
Betty was a member of the National League of Pen Women and was editor/writer of the monthly newsletter for the local branch. She belonged to the McHenry Mansion Foundation, the McHenry Museum and Historical Society, and PFLAG Modesto.
She is survived by her sister, Mary Jane Woodruff of Ceres, CA. Betty is also survived by her children, Marilyn Mettler(Lee) and Sam Montgomery;by her grandchildren, Ben Mettler of Liberty, TN; and Sam Mettler of Modesto. She leaves several nieces and nephews. The family includes Betty's compassionate and loving care-givers in her last year of life: Leean Smith, Betty Pilkay, Sandra Pilkay, and Tonia Reader. They became part of family.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to a favorite non-profit. Services will be private. White doves will be released to carry her home.
We will miss her forever.
Published in the Modesto Bee from Aug. 6 to Aug. 7, 2013