Betty Deatherage

Betty Elizabeth Deatherage

Thursday, February 25th, 1932 - Wednesday, May 6th, 2020
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Do not be saddened by my death, have faith as I do, in the knowledge that I have moved on to the reward God has promised His children. I have spent the past two years enjoying the companionship of my youngest daughter, watching Bob Ross on television, completing 19 puzzles that were all tougher than the last, while eating peanut M & M’s. I can honestly say, this was absolutely a dream come true! On Wednesday morning, May 6, 2020, I passed on just as I have always envisioned, peacefully with my much-loved Boston Terrier, Maryah, by my side.
I was born on February 25, 1932, in Viola, AR. I was one of six children born to Pete and Rose Plarinos. It was my responsibility, at a young age, to look out for our youngest sister, Mary, who was deaf. I rode with her on trains, buses, and trolley cars to get to school, and to travel from one town to another. By the grace of God and sheer determination, we survived. However, our family moved so often, schoolyard friendships and a sense of belonging was rarely possible.
Then around the age of 13, I went to live with my Aunt Ethel and her family in Arkansas. She had boys, and although I treasured their kindness and the stability their farm provided, I was expected to work like one of her sons. The work was hard, but it prepared me well for my adult life. Saturdays were set aside for dancing, which I have always loved! I would bridle my horse, Trixie, and ride to a neighbor’s home. There, everyone appreciated the musical talents of others, good food, and the chance to reconnect with neighbors. It is here that I met my husband of 64 years, Harold Deatherage. Later that year, my mother wanted me to join her in California. After all our Saturday’s dancing together, it was unacceptable to Harold that I should leave. Before I knew it, my mother had given consent and I was married, far too young by today’s standards, but truly a blessing from God, on November 11, 1946.
We moved to Entiat, WA, on March 6, 1947, where Harold worked for Entiat Valley Orchards for many years. In 1966, we purchased our pear orchard, and our current home in 1974. We both worked hard to achieve the American dream and provide a better life for our children. This is when all the jobs on Aunt Ethel’s farm became a true gift. When equipment repairs were needed, if parts or money were in short supply, with these skills, some ingenuity and determination, I could get our equipment back to work! Those same farm-learned gifts also taught me how to make clothing for my kids, can fruits and vegetables, process venison, and raise farm animals, using their milk and eggs for our family and neighbors.
In 1959, I was honored when asked to paint a mural on our Entiat school’s cafeteria walls. At first, our local Sapphire Club requested that I simply make a mural of our town prior to it being moved, as the following year, 1960, Rocky Reach Dam would close its gates and flood our tiny town. However, when I was done, local farms and orchards, people hunting and fishing, were included to represent our treasured community. It was fun, and when I was finished, it was satisfying and felt like I had really done something. There was no doubt though, if you asked me about oil, you need to state whether you meant motor oil or oils used to paint on canvases!
Through the years, we traveled with friends and enjoyed supporting the Entiat Tigers basketball team. Harold and I also enjoyed camping with kids and grandkids in the summers, that would flow into our fall trips to cut firewood for the cold winter days. It was during these winter months that we played many a game of dominos or Rook to break the monotony. Other events I later treasured were the theatrical plays and Apple Blossom coronations held in Wenatchee, WA, each year.
Extreme weather and pear harvests were the only reasons our family would not attend church on Sunday. Harold and I were deeply committed to making sure our children knew and loved Jesus Christ. During these early years, teaching Sunday school was a joyful part of each week for me. Along with our belief of Jesus’ open arms, we delighted in opening our home to everyone at Thanksgiving or Christmas time. Most everyone pitched in, making light of the work, and in the end, when we tallied the plates we had filled, the higher that number was, so was my joy!
Born to Harold and I were seven children: Mary (Lyle) Deskin, Eddy Dean (Penny) Deatherage, Marlena (Ed) Burkey, Nannette (Bill) Fishbourne, Jack (Cindy) Deatherage, Melinda Hubbard, and Larry Deatherage. Harold and I would often comment, “Look what we started!”; 14 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; and five great-great grandchildren. One final thought for those friends I have been blessed to know and that I have left behind: Jeanie Christ, Sarah Petersen, Dixie Hinton, Mona Stevens, Debbie Mitchel, Mike McCroskey, Carl Keen, Pastor Steve and Teresa McGrady, Will and Sue, Terri and Ann, plus our many card playing friends, I enjoyed sharing my life with you. I treasure each of you. You have all enriched my memories and filled my heart.
The Celebration of my Life will be announced and held at a later date.
Chapel of the Valley, Wenatchee, WA, is in charge of arrangements.
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