Betty Lou Harris

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Betty Lou
(Age 85)

Betty Lou Kring Harris, beloved mother, grand- mother, great-grandmother, avid observer of people, confidante, guide, social humorist, life teacher, and friend, age 85, of Hayden Lake, Idaho passed away peacefully on April 14, 2011 at her home with her family at her side. She and twin brother, Robert Kring, were born on September 18, 1925, in Los Angeles, California. In Los Angeles she met her future husband, Russell Courtney Harris Jr., during their high school years through their mutual love of tennis, which they shared throughout their 56 years together. Betty and Russ were married after WWII, in 1950. Russ passed away in the peaceful surroundings of their beautiful home on Hayden Lake in June of 2006.
Betty's energetic personality and willingness to make her home available to others was the foundation of her life as a mother and homemaker as well as her life in various service organizations. Camp Fire Girls, Los Angeles Children's Hospital Della Robbia Foundation, and countless PTA groups, were some of the organizations to which she contributed her time and energy.
Betty was an outstanding athlete throughout her life, and when her body no longer kept pace with her mind, she continued to share her enthusiasm for athletic endeavors as a fan, a witty and well-informed critic particularly of the pro tennis and baseball world's, and was an ardent cheerleader for those of us who were and are able to entertain ourselves through sports. In her early years, Betty was a true California girl at heart, often found bodysurfing in the waves at Redondo and Hermosa Beach. She enjoyed playing paddle tennis and tennis competitively; she was an always-willing commentator and somewhat reluctant participant in the numerous family water-ski and snow-ski trips which family and friends alike have shared for the nearly 60 years that she gave us- memories that bring wide smiles, tall tales, and many laughs to all of us who spent time with her.
Betty's creative talent found an outlet in mid-life when she discovered the joys of quilting with the group at Crazy Ladies & Friends in Santa Monica. She soon became a skilled quilter and traveled the country giving quilting seminars with her Crazy Ladies buddies for many, many years. In her later years- largely spent at the family home on Hayden Lake, Idaho, Betty spent countless summer nights and winter days in her quilting room overlooking beautiful Hayden Lake and the gently sloping grounds around her home, often passing on her knowledge of quilting and her opinions on sports, politics, and people to her children, grandchildren, in-laws, friends, and anyone with a shred of interest in quilting and life.
Betty will be missed dearly- most of all she was a pillar of wit, encouragement, and strength and lived to support her family and friends. She opened her home in Los Angeles and her Lake Home on Hayden Lake, Idaho, to all- where countless friends and family members were warmly welcomed year-around.
Betty is survived by her son Courtney Harris with children Cameron, Tess, John, Mary, and James; daughter Susan Joyner with children Joby and Casey; daughter Stephanie Powers married to Christopher Powers with children Sadie and Maddie; son Tracy Harris married to Ines Ferreira with children Emma and Olivia. Betty was Great-grandma to Mackenzie Lou who is daughter of Tess Harris and granddaughter of Courtney Harris.
Betty's family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to Betty's fantastic team of caregivers at the Garden Plaza Retirement Center in Post Falls, Idaho, to Hospice of North Idaho, and to all of the unbelievable support received from friends in the community over the past years, months and weeks.
A celebration of her life will be held 4:00 p.m. Saturday, April 23, 2011 at the Yates Funeral Home, Coeur d'Alene Chapel. All friends are welcome to attend. The family prefers memorials to Hospice of North Idaho, 9493 Government Way, Hayden, Idaho 83835; Habitat for Humanity of North Idaho, 176 W. Wyoming Ave., Hayden, ID 83835; and the EXCEL Foundation, P.O. Box 2469, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83816. Please visit Betty's memorial and sign her online guestbook at

Published in Spokesman-Review from Apr. 19 to Apr. 20, 2011
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