Betty L. Onsum

1920 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Memorial Services will be held on Friday, October 14, at 11:30 a.m. at the Congregational Bible Church of Shafter for Betty L. Onsum, age 96 of Bakersfield, who went to be with her Lord and Savior on October 2, 2016.
For Betty Onsum, the lyrics of the beloved hymn "Blessed Assurance" were not just words on a hymnal page, they represented a daily consciousness: "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine; Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! This is my story; this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long." To have known Betty, was to know this reality. She often commented that Jesus was her best, closest friend. Today she sees her friend face-to-face.
Betty was born in Tacoma, Washington on January 10, 1920 to Alvin and Anna Bruce, the second of three children. In heaven she rejoins her parents, beloved husband Owen, and daughter Cathy who preceded her in death. Betty attended Lincoln High School in Seattle where she was an honor student and graduated one year early. She received her B.S. from the University of Washington and was a "Husky" to the end. She married Rev. Owen Onsum on June 30, 1943 in Seattle, Washington after a seven year courtship. From a first kiss at age 16, she knew she would marry Owen. Betty and Owen enjoyed 52 years of marriage and ministry partnership, serving churches in Seattle, Fresno, Los Angeles, and Shafter.
Betty obtained her teaching and counseling credentials in California where she taught for 18 years in McFarland, Shafter, and Bakersfield. After retirement she continued to teach as a substitute into her early 70's at continuation high schools where she motivated kids who needed a second chance as a "tough-love grandma."
She was treasured by her twenty-four grandchildren and great-grandchildren whose lives were enriched by her love, humor, spontaneity, and spiritual guidance. Her exuberant call was "Yabba Dabba Doo!"
Surviving family include: sons John and his wife Rita of Eastsound, Washington and David and his wife Lynn of Bakersfield; daughter Judy Fortenberry and her husband Radon of Bakersfield. She was preceded in death by her daughter Cathy Ericsson (husband Doug) of Sunnyvale.
The family wishes to thank the nurses and staff of Hoffman Hospice and Gentiva Hospice for their dedication and thoughtful care during mom's last year. Special thanks are given to the staff at Carrington Assisted Living in Shafter who provided compassionate care above and beyond the call of duty during mom's five year residence there.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to support the ministries of African Enterprise, Teen Challenge, or Dualreach.org
Please send condolences to the family and sign Betty's guestbook at
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Oct. 9, 2016
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