Day 72: Remembering Betty

18 Jun

Betty Matteson

It was through the Ashland Rotary that I first met Betty Matteson. She was an Honorary member of the club and she and her husband Jim rarely missed a meeting. They seemed to hold court at their table and one could easily tell that they were well-loved. Tales of their kindness, generosity and good humor were heard throughout the club. One example is the calling card that Jim used – it read “The bearer of this card is entitled to one free hug (or more) Compliments of your friendly real estate associate, Jim Matteson.

Each year during the Festival of Lights Parade, Betty and Jim volunteered in a special capacity for the Ashland Chamber of Commerce. They dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus. They were an outstanding choice for this role. Jim was very comfortable as jolly Santa and Betty played Mrs. Claus with such a quiet strength that I could easily imagine her keeping things at the North Pole under control while Santa was away.

Over time, my husband and I became very close to Betty and Jim. They were incredible mentors and staunch supporters of us. Once when I told Jim that I was going back east for a visit, he told me to make sure and visit the local Rotary club while I was there. I took his advice and it was a great experience to get out of my comfort zone, to see how another club’s meeting was run and to meet some nice people.

After Jim died last year, Betty moved to Spokane to be closer to family. Before she left, we held a dinner for her family and a few friends at our house. It was such fun and I felt as if I’d known her daughters for years though we had only met briefly a few times. It’s rare when that happens… which makes it all the more special.

Betty’s daughter called me last week and when I asked how she was she said,”I’m sad” and I knew then that Betty was gone. It’s hard when you realize that you will never see someone again; that life is different now. I will miss Betty’s laugh, the way her eyes twinkled when she smiled, and of course, the bowls of M&M’s that she always had on hand. This morning I brought Betty’s family a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. It’s a small gesture to help ease this time of sadness and express my thanks for including us in their extended family. I am truly grateful for having met them.

2 Responses to “Day 72: Remembering Betty”

  1. Alexandra June 18, 2011 at 8:10 PM #

    This is such a lovely post. Thank you for sharing this with all of your readers. Betty was a lovely woman, and she will always be missed.

    I love you, Al

  2. Patti Matteson Malott June 19, 2011 at 8:04 PM #

    OH MY! What a wonderful tribute to my mom and incredible blessing to be reciepients of a MOST DELICIOUS pie! We could “taste” the love that was added to this most excellent pie that made it even sweeter. We felt very honored and cared for–especially to be a part of “365pieadaygiveaway” Thank you our dear friend, Karen!

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