Bette Ham Jenks
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Jenks Bette Ham Jenks, age 89, of Columbus, Ohio, passed away surrounded by her loving family Sunday, January 22, 2017. She is preceded in death by her devoted husband Donald E. Jenks, parents Ralph and Alfreda Ham, brother James Ham, brother and sister-in-law Richard and Elizabeth Ham, nephew Ralph Ham, brother-in law James R. Jenks, sister-in-law Marjorie Jenks and grandsons Greg and Craig Klise. Bette is survived by her loving daughters, Donna (Bob) Klise, Dorene Jenks (Ralph Kerr); grandchildren, Lynne (Scot) Robbins, Rob (Kristi) Klise, Hallie and Hannah Kerr; great grandchildren, Zachary, Kiersten, and Lauryn Robbins, Robby and Lilly Klise; and many nieces, nephews and friends. She will be deeply missed by all. With a kind heart, generous spirit and an infectious enthusiasm for life, Bette made an indelible impression wherever she went. Always a woman of action, she invested herself deeply in numerous community events and organizations throughout her lifetime. Her talents for organizing groups, coordinating events and enlisting support of volunteers while also instilling an element of fun made her an outstanding community leader. Bette was a graduate of West High School Class of 1945 where she was a cheerleader and member of the business club and various social committees. Her devotion to her classmates continued over the decades, arranging reunions in Columbus, destination reunions in Florida in addition to monthly luncheons that continue to this day. Professionally, Bette was a valued executive secretary for The Greater Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau. In 1991 she was presented a ceremonial resolution by the City of Columbus to commemorate her 26 years of dedicated service. She was active in professional associations including Executive Women International. Following in her parents' footsteps, Bette was an active member of the Eastern Star and Ladies of the Oriental Shrine. She became a Camp Fire Girl in the early 30's and remained an ardent supporter of this youth serving agency throughout her life. Spanning two generations as a leader for both of her daughters' Camp Fire groups, she also managed many candy sales for the Columbus Council and served several terms on the Board of Directors. Bette received both the Luther Halsey Gulick and the Ernest Thompson Seton Awards, national recognitions for her dedication to Camp Fire and the camping program. Bette's talents went far beyond shorthand, typing and tending to administrative details - she was a dancer, winning many jitterbug contests with her older brother Jim. She also enjoyed ceramics, knitting, and playing cards with friends or on her computer. Mostly she enjoyed mentoring and inspiring others to follow their dreams. Bette enjoyed chocolate candy, black coffee, milkshakes and moose tracks ice cream. Truly her passion was spending time with her family and friends. Visitation will be 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. on Monday, January 30, 2017 at the HOPE & HEART FUNERAL HOME by SCHOEDINGER, 3030 West Broad Street, Columbus, where a memorial service will be held 11 a.m. on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 followed by luncheon to which all are cordially invited. A private graveside service will be held at a future date. Contributions in Bette's memory can be made to Camp Wyandot, Inc. at 1890 Northwest Blvd., Ste. 130, Columbus, Ohio 43212, or a youth serving charity of choice. Please visit to share memories or extend condolences.

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Published in The Columbus Dispatch from Jan. 26 to Jan. 27, 2017.
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5 entries
January 30, 2017
Pam and I send our love, hugs and prayers to Dori and the entire family during this time.
January 28, 2017
"Bette was like a second mom to us and the best neighbor and friend.We will miss her so much,but know she is rejoicing being back together with her loving soulmate.Our hearts our with her family & friends..." Dennis,Naomi&Lyndsey Abdon (Cape Coral,FL)
January 27, 2017
Bette was a very special lady in my life. She was like my second mom growing up in the Camp Fire Group. There was nothing she wouldn't do for you to help you succeed in life. She will be greatly missed by all who was graced with presence. Hugs and prayers to the whole family.
Ruth Walker
January 27, 2017
I was honored to have her as my Aunt. She was loving, supportive, and always had something to say with every visit. She and I shared some wonderful personal times that I will treasure forever. Love you Aunt Bette!
Jennifer Jenks Breneman
January 27, 2017
Bette always literally had a twinkle in her bright eyes - her eyes smiled like none I have ever seen. Her exuberance and love for people is a legacy she has passed on. May the family rest, laugh, and gain strength from her memory and may Bette rest in peace.
Jan (Wisecup) Spencer
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