Betty Lou Bates died peacefully on November 23, 2022, at the age of 91. She was born in Corning, California, to William Leonard Beavers and Viola Cecelia (Smelser) Beavers and grew up with her two younger brothers in the Northern California town of Westwood. There she developed a life-long love of the mountains and nature.
After graduating from Westwood High School, Betty attended Chico State, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree and elementary school teaching credential. She was hired by the Mt. Diablo Unified School District soon after and ended up spending her entire 37-year career there teaching in the primary grades. Betty cared deeply for her students and often spent extra time helping them after school. One of her great loves was teaching children how to read. She also treasured her experiences helping children with developmental/physical challenges during her time as a resource specialist with the PHRC program. Over the years she developed many dear friendships with colleagues and enjoyed with them lots of fun activities, meals, lively conversation, and, always, laughter.
After retiring, she stayed busy working as a substitute teacher, tutoring, ushering for local performing arts theaters, hiking, reading (she was a voracious reader!), gardening, and square dancing, among other activities. A particular highlight of each year was hosting her grandchildren during the summer. Betty loved them—and her whole family—unconditionally. She was also a lover of animals and a strong supporter of animal rescue organizations, taking in and caring for many dogs and cats throughout her life.
Betty is survived by her children Cynthia (Deb), Steve (Shirley), and Juliana Bates; brother Jerry Beavers (Delee); grandchildren Stacy, Kristen (Greg), and Jennifer (Gabe), and great-grandchildren Emily, Ashley, Kinley, Lincoln, and Maeve, as well as several nieces and nephews and their families. She was predeceased by her parents, her brother Fred (Paul) Beavers, and her former husband, Wallace Bates.
A private family memorial will be held at a later date. Any donations in Betty’s name may be made to organizations supporting nature or animal welfare, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.