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Betty met her future husband on a blind date to an evening Big Game (Aggies vs SacJC) football bonfire rally. She was married to Aldo Rizzi (deceased) October 20, 1935. Aldo had graduated from UC Davis and was working on campus. After marrying they made their home in Visalia, CA as Aldo worked in the Farm Advisors Office. Their three daughters were born there, beginning life in an agricultural town. Fourteen years later Aldo was offered a position as Extension Pomologist with UCD, and made the big move back to Davis. Housing was scarce, nothing on the market fit, so a new custom house was quickly built.
While growing up Betty enjoyed being a Campfire Girl, delighting in earning her honors. When older she joined the Native Daughters of the Golden West, becoming an active member and holding several offices; one being president. She has maintained her membership for over 70 years, and seen the name change from NDGW Coloma Parlors to NDGW Califia due to a change of location. She is also a member of the past presidents club. When her daughters were young Betty was active with the Brownies and Girl Scouts of America, and as a project leader in the Plainfield 4-H club. For many years she worked on the board in a neighborhood polling precinct. She is a member of St. James Catholic Church.
Betty enjoyed cooking, baking, sewing and crocheting; traits she passed on to her daughters. She delighted in sharing all her baked goods with family/friends. She was an excellent jam maker and continued this passion up to a couple years ago. She found pleasure in sending greeting cards to family and friends all accompanied with personal handwritten notes.
Betty is survived by her daughters/sons-in-law: Betty Jean (Tom, deceased) Paro of Davis, Aldene Diane (Ron) Miller of Sacramento, Linda Louise (Don) Garland of Napa, five grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, her brother Houston Keehner, sister Barbara (Keehner) Alger, and numerous nephews and nieces.
Betty will be remembered for her love of life, her easy laugh, her caring ways, and wonderful sense of humor. She has left a legacy of strength, vitality, love and laughter that will see her family through for many generations. As a mother, she was the best; as a friend there was none better. All who had the pleasure of knowing her will deeply miss her presence.
A time of visitation will be held Sunday, April 20, 2008 from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. with a Rosary being recited at 7:00 P.M. at Wiscombes Davis Funeral Chapel, 116 D Street in Davis.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday, April 21, 2008 at 10:00 A.M. at St. James Catholic Church, 1275 B Street in Davis. Interment will follow at Davis Cemetery.
Dear Betty Jean, Aldene, Linda and all -We will miss your mother and our Aunt Betty. She never forgot our birthdays, and that is saying something since we have been married for for almost 44 years now. Her newsy and lighthearted notes will surely be missed, as well as her presence at family gatherings. She was welcoming and generous to us all and we loved her and always will. We love you too, Dave and Marilyn
David & Marilyn Keehner Dec 31 2008 12:00 AM
Bob and Pat, Nan Nan, Grandpa Miller
Patricia Miller Apr 22 2008 12:00 AM
Dear "B", "A", Linda and family, Your Mom was always like a second Mom to all of us "Smith" girls. She was always so warm and welcoming to all of us! When I was a student at UCD, she helped me through some tough times with a homemade cookie or brownie and hug and a smile. Most recently, when I lived in Davis in 2005, she welcomed me with a warm hug and her wonderful smile that made all of the bad "stuff" disappear for a while. Your Mom will be missed SO much. We Smiths were hoping to visit her tomorrow, April 19, Picnic Day. We will keep her and all of you in our thoughts and prayers as we congregate at "Mrak Pond" (Lake Spafford). We have wonderful memories of Rizzi/Smith gatherings there annually on Picnic Day. Much love to all of you, Martha
Martha Smith Hector Apr 18 2008 12:00 AM
Your mother was such a sweet and gentle woman. We at Courtyard will miss her and her warm smile. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during your loss.
Rachel Long Apr 17 2008 12:00 AM
Betty Jean, Aldene and Linda: Your mother led a full and wonderful life. As a kid growing up on East 7th Street, she always had a smile on her face and could hold her own with Gladys Symens. She was the last hold out of the original families who built their homes on East 7th Street. I miss hearing the cars that would hit the dip at the 7th and A Street intersection at 30 MPH, sending the cars airborne! What an era and good bye to your mom. I have a work commitment and will miss the service. Paul Blankenship
Paul Blankenship Apr 17 2008 12:00 AM
I didn't know Betty very long, but she was a very sweet lady.
Ed Whisler Apr 17 2008 12:00 AM