Home
Resources
More Obituaries for Robert Bettisworth
Looking for an obituary for a different person with this name?

Robert H. "Bob" Bettisworth 


1926 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Robert H. "Bob" Bettisworth  Obituary
Robert "Bob" H. Bettisworth passed away in his sleep, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, in Mesa, Arizona. 
Bob was born in Coffeyville, Kansas, Aug. 23, 1926, to Grace and Garl Bettisworth, the youngest (by 11 years) of four children.
Bob always was an adventuresome soul, and his mother let him roam, which included a canoe trip at age 13, down the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans, with a good friend in a canoe that the two of them built.
Bob came to Fairbanks in 1948, with the dream of finding gold. Upon arrival he went to work for the FE Company "driving point" at Ester, and at Dome Creek. While at Dome Creek, he and a buddy "hand mined" a little pup off where they found some large gold nuggets, the largest of which Bob carried around with him for years. From that time on he had "gold fever," which he acted on in his later years, mining at Hunter Creek near Rampart and at Eureka, near Manley.
He married Mildred "Millie" Hering-Strandberg in 1953, and shortly thereafter adopted her two young boys, Charles "CB" and Kenneth "KB."
He founded Bettisworth Masonry in the late 1950s, was one of four founding partners of College Utilities (now Golden Heart Utilities), Teal Development Company (Birch Estates and University West Subdivisions), and was a partner in the Hering Corporation (College Inn Grocery), along with Dorothy (Millie's sister) and Earl Beistline. He was a man of great generosity, as was demonstrated when, during the 1967 flood, he gave away all the groceries in the store to needy flood victims.
Bob was one of the first Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly members (1965-76) and served as presiding officer for a number of terms.
He was elected to the State of Alaska House of Representatives and served three terms beginning in 1978. In the Legislature he was known as a man who was able to reach across the aisle to always do what was best for Alaska, and colleagues who worked with him knew his word was gold.
Recreational activities included fishing, hunting, trapping, riverboat racing (several Yukon 800s), and dog mushing with the boys.
He was an avid curler, attending bonspiels around Alaska, in Canada and the Lower 48. He was instrumental in constructing the existing Fairbanks curling club.
In their later years, he and Millie spent winters in Arizona, where Millie passed away in 2001. In 2003, he married Barbara Coan.
The summer after they were married they climbed the Chilkoot Trail (Bob was 76 years old) with another couple from Fairbanks.
In his later years, Barb has been an angel, providing wonderful support during the last several years.
Bob is survived by his wife, Barbara, and the immediate family: his sons, CB Bettisworth (wife Karen Perdue) and KB Bettisworth (wife Robin); Barbs son, Mike Coan, of Albuquerque, New Mexico (wife Patty), and daughter Margie Murray, of Las Vegas (husband Bill); grandsons in Fairbanks, Rob (wife Barbara and sons Boyd and Cleary), Alex (wife Retchenda and daughters Stella and Abigail), Ben Bettisworth (UAF); and in Massachusetts, granddaughter, Amy Struzziero (husband Ed and children Andersen and Keira); and Barb's granddaughters Mikayla and Mercedes Murray and grandsons Chris and Brian Coan. 
He is also survived by his niece, Mary Griffith, and husband Jim, of Phoenix. Hering relatives include Ralph (Peggy) and Bill (Marcie) Beistline, Kathy (John) Nussbaumer, and Linda (Tom) Swisher.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. March 11 at the University Presbyterian Church in Fairbanks.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Feb. 18, 2015
Read More