Betty Ann Schiff Turner of Santa Barbara passed away on December 10, 2020.
Betty was born in Los Angeles on November 29, 1927, to Forest Haines Gillespie and Dr. Mary Akey Gillespie. She graduated from the Marlborough School and then studied Art History at Stanford University. She transferred to UCLA where she pledged Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Betty had three wonderful husbands in her long life. She married Arius Van Tienhoven in 1950, moving to his native home in The Netherlands for three years before his passing. Betty then married Eric Schiff, and they enjoyed thirty-seven years together filled with adventurous travel, sailing, and raising their children in Palos Verdes Estates until Eric's passing in 1989. Betty married David Turner in 1992 and shared twenty years of outdoor adventures, cruises, and several peaceful years together at The Samarkand Retirement Community in Santa Barbara until David's passing in 2014.
Always lovers of nature, travel, and adventure, Betty and Eric Schiff voyaged on an eleven-month family sailing adventure in 1966 throughout the South Pacific aboard their 91-foot ketch, the Sans Souci. Upon returning to Palos Verdes Estates, Betty actively worked as a volunteer for her church as well as the National Charity League. She also was a Girl Scout Mariner troop leader, where she organized numerous memorable trips including backpacking down the Grand Canyon and in the Sierras and canoe expeditions on the Colorado River. Betty supported and coordinated her children throughout highly active childhoods, which included team sports, sailing, golfing, backpacking, and painting. She loved to paint and taught drawing and art at The Samarkand.
Betty trekked in the Himalayas and backpacked with the Sierra Club in California and northern Mexico in her mid-60's. Betty's extended family included lifelong friendships with several other couples as "The Cannon Classic." The group was known for its legendary parties and for fostering similar lasting friendships among their children. Betty was beloved as "Oma" by her grandchildren, who will always remember her genuine interest in following and supporting their various pursuits.
Betty is survived by her children: sons Arius (Jean) Schiff, Eric (Lissa) Schiff, Emile (Lynn) Schiff, and daughters Marina (Andy) Fleming, Suzanna Tomlin, son-in-law John Katenkamp; eleven grandchildren: James (Helen) Katenkamp, Alexander (Emily) Tomlin, Jessica Tomlin, Claire (Peter) Thompson, Camille (Josh) Martin, Corey (Stacey) Schiff, Kimberly (Richard) Fogel, Trevor (Denise Martinez) Schiff, Alexis Schiff, Tommy (Amanda) Fleming, Katie (David) Johnson; and six great-grandchildren: Lydia and Oliver Katenkamp; Bobby and Lucy Schiff; Richie Fogel, and Eivin Fleming. Betty also is survived by family members from her marriage to David Turner: David (Dianne) Turner, Jr., Joan (Allan) Pont, and Sean (YiOu Wang) Pont. She was preceded in death by her parents Forest and Dr. Mary Gillespie, her brother, Forest Gillespie, Jr., and daughter, Penny Katenkamp.
Betty was especially blessed to have the dedicated companionship of her most loving daughter-in-law, Jean Schiff, who provided constant support and friendship throughout Betty's recent years in Santa Barbara. The family wishes to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the caring and compassionate nursing staff at Brandel Hall at The Samarkand and the Visiting Nurses
Published in Palos Verdes Peninsula News on Dec. 25, 2020.