Betty Jane Mowry, 93, of Grandview died early on Tuesday morning, Nov. 30, 2010, in Grandview, where she had lived for 60 years.
She was born March 14, 1917 in Kellogg, Idaho, the first of three children born to Lee and Mabel Grannis.
The family relocated to Clatskanie, Ore., where Betty graduated from Clatskanie High School in 1934. She continued her education at Linfield College and then graduated from Oregon State College in 1939 with a degree in Home Economics Education. That summer, Betty was pursued by a handsome young man, Paul Mowry. After Betty taught for a year in St. Helens, Ore., one thing led to another, and she and Paul were married in 1940, a union that lasted forever.
Following Paul's college graduation and the birth of first daughter Paula in 1942, Betty spent the next three years chasing after her Army Air Corps man from Texas to New Hampshire to Virginia (where daughter, Susan, was born) to Kansas.
After the war, the family settled in Fairview, Ore., where daughter, Patricia, was born. In 1950, after the Mowrys moved to Grandview, they welcomed daughter, Carol.
During those years of raising a young family, Betty put her home economics degree to good use. Not an Easter went by that the four little Mowry girls weren't decked out in brand new outfits sewn by Betty.
Betty re-entered the teaching profession in 1956 at Grandview Junior High with the goal of being able to send her four daughters to college. Goal accomplished.
She retired in 1975, but her compassion for children was legendary.
Betty was very active in her community. She joined Bethany Presbyterian Church, where she served as both elder and deacon and also taught Sunday school.
She was a long-time member of PEO and served as president. In addition, she spent many hours tending the roses in the Grandview Rose Garden. She was also an avid bridge player.
But to really know Betty Mowry, one had to walk out to her backyard to view her 120 varieties of roses, sit in her living room and listen to her play the piano, or witness her love of animals through the countless number she cared for through the years.
Betty had a quick wit and sense of humor and a twinkle in her eyes.
Betty had a superb sense of style and was meticulous in both her own appearance and the appearance of her home. And she was ruthless, Saturday mornings buzzed with activity as all four daughters cleaned until every surface could survive the white glove test.
When Betty was no longer able to see with her eyes, due to macular degeneration, she had the remarkable ability of being able to recognize former students and friends by listening to their voices. She also volunteered in a first grade classroom, listening to little ones practice their reading.
She is survived by daughters, Paula (Dave) Craig, Susan (Bruce) Johnson, Patricia Mowry and Carol (Tom) Merritt; 10 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.
Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Paul, in 2005; her sister, Dona Fish, in 2004; and her brother, Bob Grannis, in 2005.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010, at 2 p.m., at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Grandview. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Bethany Presbyterian Church (Grandview), PEO or Lower Valley Hospice.
Those wishing to share their memories or sign Betty's on-line memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com
Smith Funeral Home LTD and Crematory in Sunnyside is in charge of arrangements.