Bette C. Beitman, 86, of Billings passed away at her home at West Park Village on Dec. 31, 2010, following a brief illness. Bette Carmen Elizabeth Haythorn was born Jan. 3, 1924, in Eaton, Colo., the daughter of Joe F. and Jennie (Holburg) Haythorn. She was raised by a prominent family in Eaton, where her grandfather was the first teacher there. Bette was proud of her pioneer heritage.
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In 1947, she met Clarence "Clancy" Beitman at a boarding house in Denver. Following a six-month courtship, they were married on Oct. 4, 1947. Clancy was an electrical engineer for USBR. They moved to Billings in 1950 and made their home and raised their family here.
Bette worked as a payroll clerk for the United States Forest Service and retired from the government job after 20 years of dedicated service. Friends, family and laughter were always plentiful and brought them great joy.
Following Clancy's death in 1995, Bette formed a friendship with Russ Sparks, who remained her dedicated companion until his death in 2001.
Bette was a fun-loving spirit with a cheerful outlook on life. She enjoyed being surrounded by family and friends and living life to its fullest! She loved playing bridge, and her love for people and causes allowed her to become involved in many organizations throughout her life. She was a member of PEO, Chapter AV; Eastern Star, Moss Agate 126 for more than 50 years; Hilands Golf Club; NARF (National Association of Retired Federal Employees); Martha's Circle of First United Methodist Church, The Petroleum Club, Riverside Country Club, and was a volunteer at St. Vincent Hospital Gift Shop for numerous years.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Clancy; her companion and friend, Russ Sparks; son, Joseph "Joe" Beitman; her twin brother, Bob Haythorn; and a grandchild.
Bette is survived by her son, Robert "Bob" Beitman of Bozeman, and William "Bill" Beitman of San Diego, Calif.; grandchildren, Trevor, Mari, Nancy, Joni, Donny, Perry, Brian and Jenny; sisters-in-law, Betty Haythorn and Marie Galloway; and special friends, Judy Larson, Marilyn Daines, Wayne and Terry.
Cremation has taken place. Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 7, at First United Methodist Church. A reception will follow at the Hilands Golf Club. As instructed by Bette, "Make it fun and have some snorts!"
Memorials may be made to the charity of one's choice.
Michelotti-Sawyers is in charge of arrangements, and remembrances may be left for the family at www.michelottisawyers.com.
Michelotti Sawyers Mortuary & Crematory
1001 Alderson Avenue
Billings, MT 59102
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Jan. 4, 2011