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Elizabeth (Betty) Louise Ely
July 1, 1946 ~ December 5, 2020
Elizabeth (Betty) Louise Ely died December 5, 2020 at Hospice of North Idaho’s Schneidmiller House, where she was able to spend her last few days with family and friends.
Betty was born July 1, 1946, in Washington, DC, to Patricia Arpp. In 1951, Patricia and Betty moved to Parkersburg, West Virginia, where Patricia met and then married Roger Leeton Bell.
Betty’s sister Mary Ellen was born in 1954. The Bells moved to southern California in 1956 with Patricia’s sister’s family. The move was made with four adults, six kids, and a dog, heading west pulling a U-Haul trailer behind a brand-new Chevy station wagon.
The Bells moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1961, where Betty graduated from Judge Memorial Catholic High School in 1964. After high school, Betty went to nursing school. It turned out nursing wasn’t her cup of tea. She later worked for the USPS, IRS, and Mountain Bell as a long-distance operator. Daughter, Kimberly (Catten), was born in 1968. While working at the phone company, Betty went on a blind date with W. Bruce Ely III. They soon discovered they were a perfect match, and they were married on March 17, 1971. The Elys moved to southern California in 1972, where daughter Melissa (Lisa) and son W. Bruce IV were born in 1973 and 1974, respectively. The Elys moved to Spokane in 1976.
The next years saw Betty as the best full-time mom ever. She was involved heavily in all the kids’ actives, including PTA, Brownies, softball, soccer and Scouts. Betty’s home was always a popular landing spot for the neighbors and the kids’ friends. Her goal was to raise children that would develop into very strong, accomplished and independent adults. She exceedingly succeeded and surpassed her goals.
When the kid were older, Betty returned to the workforce providing technical support at the county library. She then returned to school to receive an AA degree in accounting. That was followed by the purchase of a Signs Now franchise. She and daughter Lisa ran a very successful business for 14 years.
In 1998, Bruce & Betty built a new home on an airpark in northern Idaho doing a lot of the work themselves. Betty was chief electrician, and she wired the whole house. She was also the tile setter, painter and interior designer.
Throughout the years, Betty enjoyed many interests, activities, and hobbies, including dog breeding, gardening, a tandem skydive, a zipline at age 73, boating, stained glass, knitting, genealogy, traveling, and quilting. Travels included a trip to Ireland with her cousin Patti, motorcycle trips with her husband, and numerous motorhome trips covering all lower 48 states. Quilting was her passion: The beauty and quality of her work is evidence of that passion.
After a scary bout with COVID in August of 2020, Betty received a diagnosis of stage 4 metastatic adenocarcinoma. The combination overwhelmed her defenses, and she was taken too soon from her best friend of nearly 50 years, her kids, grandkids, extended family, and a very large circle of friends. She will be remembered for how she made you feel loved and cared for, no matter who you were.
Betty was preceded in death by her father Roger Bell (1995), mother Patricia (Arpp) Bell (2015), and sister Mary Ellen Bell (2016)
Betty is survived by her husband Bruce, daughter Kimberly Catten Ely, daughter Melissa (Matt) Lindsey, son W. Bruce (Kristi Hauke) Ely IV, and grandsons Matt Lindsey and Tanner Lindsey
Special gratitude is extended to the nurses and staff at Hospice of North Idaho’s Schneidmiller House. They were fantastic in supporting Betty in her final days. Betty would have encouraged a donation to Hospice of North Idaho.
Betty will be interred at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery at Medical Lake. Because of the current pandemic, the ceremony will be delayed until later this year.
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