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Jean Betts Vail


1925 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Jean Betts Vail Obituary
August 10, 1925 - April 6, 2016 Jean Betts Vail died of natural causes on the evening of Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at the age of 90, surrounded by her three children at her home at Pasadena Highlands in Pasadena, California. She was born August 10, 1925 in Spokane, Washington, the daughter of Dr. Arthur Betts and Florence Bras Betts; her father and older brother Richard were both radiologists, contributing to her interest in medicine. She attended Scripps College for two years, and then transferred to Stanford University, majoring in English and Journalism and graduating with a BA in 1947. The following year she married Nathan Russell Vail Jr. of Los Angeles at St. John's Cathedral in Spokane. The newlyweds lived first in Los Angeles, then on the Pauba Ranch, the Vail's cattle ranch surrounding Temecula. Moving from the Pauba Ranch to La Cañada in 1956 and then to San Marino in 1964, Jean served in the Junior League of Pasadena, including editing their magazine for several years. Returning to school in 1975, she earned her nursing degree at Pasadena City College and worked as a Registered Nurse at both St. Luke's Hospital and the Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, and also for Visiting Nurses of America, specializing in the care of cancer patients. 'Russ' and Jean joined the Altadena Town and Country Club when they moved off the ranch to the Pasadena area, and took up tennis, at which she became a proficient player. They became lifetime members of the Valley Hunt Club in Pasadena in 1963. Both enjoyed an active social life with their friends, and traveled to many destinations around the U.S. and internationally, including Mexico and Australia in the pursuit of their interests in tennis, scuba diving and even a notable pack trip with their children and friends in the High Sierra. In later years she took up golf, and became a member of the San Gabriel Golf Club in the year 2000. Jean was also an avid Bridge player. She joined the Town Club of Pasadena in 2009 where she continued to play Bridge and socialize with her Pasadena friends. Jean was known for her open personality, and ironic and quirky sense of humor. She dressed smartly, was athletic and funny. She loved all of her dogs, of which she had many throughout her life. All but two were named Bluebell. Her husband Russ Vail predeceased her on March 31, 2005. She is survived by her three adult children: Nathan Russell Vail III of Harbor City, Dr. Timothy Vail of La Quinta, and Diana Vail of New York City; and by two grandchildren, Vail and Max Rainey. There will be a memorial reception for her friends and family at the Valley Hunt Club in Pasadena on May 13 at 4 pm. Please do not send gifts or flowers but rather, if you wish, make a donation in her honor to .
Published in the Los Angeles Times from May 5 to May 7, 2016
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