Raymond Robert Bettencourt, 88, of Marysville, CA, passed away on July 13, 2014.
Ray was born in Clarksburg, California on March 24, 1926. At the age of 4, his family moved to District 10, where he spent many hours bailing hay and milking cows on the family's dairy. He was drafted by the Army in 1946.
Taking the advice of his uncle who told him "he didn't want to be in cow (manure) his whole life", Ray landed a job at Meyers Hardware in Marysville. After four years, Ray was eager to find something else and began applying everywhere. The Marysville Post Office called and he accepted a position as the custodian there. Within weeks the Department of Water Resources in Oroville also called and he accepted that job as well. After almost 30 years working long hard days on the dairy, Ray knew he could do it and for the next 20 years and 9 months he worked two full-time jobs, one during the day and one at night. He retired from the State in 1985 but stayed on 20 more years at the Marysville Post Office, where he retired in 2005 at the age of 79 (he so wanted to make 80 but his eyes just wouldn't cooperate). The Post Office honored all his years of service with the dedication of a bench just outside its front steps and a plaque that read "Service with a smile the Bettencourt Style", his motto during his 40 years there. He was so proud of that bench.
Ray was a long time member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church and had a very strong faith. He always credited "the man upstairs" for helping him to work two jobs all those years and for getting him through many "close shaves". Ray loved to tell and hear jokes and often said, "better laugh than cry". Everywhere he went (the grocery store, doctors and dentist offices, restaurants, banks, etc.) he would tell complete strangers a joke-- so much so that when he revisited those places they would always expect and ask for a joke and he was always so tickled when anyone had a joke for him.
Ray really enjoyed watching Lawrence Welk and loved to see good boxing matches. Ray was a dancing fool and was known for being the last one off the dance floor. He called his last Chamarita (a Portuguese folk dance) on June 14 this year. He could dance better than he could walk. Ray really enjoyed playing with his toys on his 3 acres –"as long as I can drive my tractor and use my weed eater and blower, then I'm good" and he did just that right up to the end.
Ray is survived by his four children Robert (Melody) & Lawrence (Laurie) Bettencourt, Kathy (Kevin) Lopes & Jackie Slade, 11 grandchildren, Brandon (Jill), Dane (Holly), Russell (Katey), Ty & Caitlyn Bettencourt, Chelsea (Christian) Bried, Brinley & Devin Lopes, Trey, Lexie & Zachary Slade. Five great grandchildren Dylan, Ryder & Shelby Bettencourt and Brody & Riley Bried and five siblings Mae Alves, Dorothy Sarrico, Ruby Newberry and Violet and Herman Bettencourt.
He is preceded in death by his parents Manuel & Minnie Bettencourt, his wife Deloris of 47 years, his daughter Kristine and his grandson Chance.
Visitation is scheduled Monday, July 21, 2014 from 2 p.m. until the Rosary beginning at 7 p.m. at Lipp & Sullivan Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Marysville, with Father Jim Sullivan officiating. Burial will be in Gridley-Biggs Cemetery in Gridley.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 223 Eighth Street, Marysville, CA 95901 or Shrine of St. Jude, P.O. Box 15368, San Francisco, CA 94115.
Send Condolences at
Lipp & Sullivan
629 D Street Marysville, CA 95901
Published in Appeal Democrat from July 19 to July 21, 2014