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Betty J. (Hering) Winfree


1919 - 2019
Betty J. (Hering) Winfree Obituary
Betty J. (Hering) Winfree reached the end of the trail, dying Nov. 1, 2019, in Portland, Oregon, at age 100 years and 6 months. She was born May 2, 1919, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Fairbanks, the youngest and last surviving child of the pioneer family of Edward A. and Agnes Potts Hering.
Edward and Agnes were married in Seattle in 1896. In 1898, Edward joined the gold rush, heading to Dawson and then filing claims on Dominion Creek. He returned to Seattle in 1899 to bring Agnes to Dawson. The family moved to Fairbanks in July 1906.
Betty attended grade school and high school in Fairbanks and graduated from the University of Alaska in 1940. Betty was a life-long Presbyterian, first at the Fairbanks Presbyterian Church and later the Woodburn Presbyterian Church.
On Oct. 20, 1940, Betty married James R. Winfree in Fairbanks, where together they raised their four children. The family spent summers at their Harding Lake cabin along with some of Betty's sisters and their families in nearby cabins. Those were the days.
Betty was an elementary school teacher in Fairbanks at both Hunter and Barnette Schools; she taught second grade for 15 years. Prior to her teaching career, Betty worked at the Empress Theater while in college and later for Sourdough Express (a business once owned by her father but then owned by her sister Agnes and her husband Leo) and Fairbanks Fuel (a business then owned by her brother Donald, sister Agnes and Leo).
Betty and Jim retired and moved to Woodburn, Oregon, in 1974. Jim died in 1984. Betty moved to a retirement home in Woodburn in 2002 and lived there independently until her death.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Edward (1927,) and Agnes (1950); and her siblings, George E. Hering (1951); Victor Hering, who died at age 5 at Dominion Creek (1905); Muriel E. Johnson (1998); Alan Reid Hering, who died at age 6 in Fairbanks (1913); Arthur E. Hering (1973); Donald M. Hering (1975); Agnes G. Schlotfeldt (1994); Patricia H. Rogge (2011); Thomas A. Hering (1988); and Walter A. Hering (1945), for whom Hering Auditorium in Fairbanks is named.
Betty is survived by her children, Maureen Atkins, of Jasper, Georgia (husband Mark and children Sherry, Carol, Mark and Jim, who shares a May 2 birthdate with Betty); Donald Winfree, of Lake Oswego, Oregon, (wife Lauri Winther); Stephen Winfree of Sunnyside, Washington, (children Ryan and Michael); Daniel Winfree, of Fairbanks (wife Cathy and children Christina and James); and by the noted grandchildren, several great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews and other descendants of the Hering family.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 16, 2019, at the Woodburn First Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Presbyterian Church nearest you.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Nov. 8, 2019
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