Betty Boger Smith - May 8th 1926 longtime farmer, accountant Garfield, WA.
Elizabeth was born to farmers Harry and Nellie Neal Boger, Hartline, WA. At 6 pounds she was a force to be reckoned with establishing her place in the middle of a family of boys: Bob, Kenneth, Bud and Elmer. Being a precocious child she graduated at 16 as class president with aspirations of becoming a nurse. This would have suited her well as she was truly a generous and kind person. Spokane was home while attending Kinman Business School and working. Many friends from the Garfield area were made: Arlene Trimble, Vera Walters, Timmy McNeill, and Verna Kriebel to name a few. Betty and friend Jan were invited to Garfield with “the girls “on weekends where they danced the nights away at Riverside to “Mac the Knife” and other selections. During this time the two met their future husbands, Wayne Smith and Tom Pennell. January 26, 1947 Betty married the love of her life. The couple was employed at J.E. Love Co., Betty in the office. Valentine's Day 1948 sweet baby Dixie arrived. The Smiths moved to the family farm at the base of Ladow Butte farming there and the homestead farm near Glennwood. They built a home and replaced the shop after a fire. In the middle of harvest another little girl, Janelle joined the family during which Betty was the official truck driver! Much support and lifelong friends were found in the Ladow community: Arlands, Hemingways, Petersons, Jamisons, Redmans, Wrides, Westacotts, Walters, Hansons, Kents, then heading west, Curtis, Neals, Cochrans, Elders, Millers, Hendricksons, Barths, Pfaffs, McCowns, Persons, Marples, Johnsons and others. Betty enjoyed people! Often were gatherings around sleds and bonfires in the winters and BBQs, bicycles, beer and swimming in the summers. There were New Year’s basement parties swinging to those popular songs of the 40s, 50s and 60s. Betty had the “twist” down to a science. She soon adjusted her truck driving skills from flat sections in Hartline to the rolling hills of the Palouse. Betty gained five sisters (in-law) when marrying Wayne. Beverly, the youngest lived with the Smiths while finishing high school; she and Betty became very close. All those aunts doted on the girls- always fun family gatherings. The girls have memories of making mud pies to exploring Steptoe Butte with cousins. Betty too, shared childhood times during Prohibition when favorite uncles(bootleggers) “hid out” at the farmstead bestowing toys onto her and siblings. These visits were met with parent disapproval. Betty was busy keeping the farm books along with participating in service groups and activities. While the girls participated in Rainbow for Girls she served as Mother Advisor enjoying the participants. She was an active member of Eastern Star, Daughters of the Nile and taught Sunday School. Later she worked alongside Donna White at the Colfax Elks Club. She shared her love of animals with the kids, always regretting leaving her horse “Sugar” in Hartline. The trait was definitely in the genes, as the generations following house their own menageries. She believed in “surrounding your soul with animals, for they are the teachers with purity of heart”. Betty enjoyed fishing, camping, and water sports with Wayne, the girls and extra kids at Priest Lake and Pend Oreille. The Smiths provided a safe home environment to young adults and teens in need. These young people soon became an adored “big sister or brother” to the girls. One was Ray Leinweber who lived with the family while working for the couple. The girls missed this “brother” when he was drafted. Patty Greiner, whose stay was brief yet, was long enough in becoming “big sis”. Betty did find time for books, crossword puzzles, friends and her gardens. Friends were the flowers in her garden that overpowered weeds. She'd be found picking raspberries with Jean or Beverly, enjoying a late afternoon cocktail with Dottie and Cleo. There was morning kitchen coffee with neighbors Tude, Eva, Lovesta, Donna W., or Willa and sometimes meeting at the Garfield “Nook” with others in the Garfield area. As the Ladow neighborhood changed she and Wayne enjoyed the “newbies” Bill and Sharon Woltering. After losing Wayne the couple often checked on Betty. She hosted many Garfield-Palouse Bridge Club card parties. In addition she and Wayne played Bridge with friends long into the evenings. They were members of the Colfax Golf Club playing league with Palouse friends Swansons, Dailys, Verna Parsons and many Colfax area golfers. Betty and Wayne enjoyed their Priest Lake home year round golfing, boating and snowmobiling. It was large enough for friends and the girls' expanding families where she loved spoiling the grandchildren. The couple was fortunate to visit the Hawaiian Islands, Yuma and brother Bob and family in the D.C. area. Bob, an FBI agent gave them an incredible tour of the area and visited members of her Quaker family carrying these treasured memories always. Betty was no stranger to tragedy in her lifetime. Losing Wayne at the hands of an irresponsible snow mobiler near the Priest Lake home was unbearable. The grief, trauma and injuries sustained, dramatically changed her life and personality. Additionally several family members passed on within a short time of losing Wayne. PTSD and long term depression led to poor decisions and further decline in health. Moving to Colfax was to be a new change, yet she endured cancer surgery, falls leading to life threatening complications and several more losses of friends and family. A dementia related disease and Stockholm syndrome additionally left her fragile, vulnerable and open to abuse. In later years unscrupulous recipients of Betty's kindness and generosity were not always grateful becoming problematic for her. She was thankful for neighbors, the Jensens' daily checks and concerns. Hesitant in making changes, “she turned the other cheek”, living her remaining days going down the path of least resistance. She cherished those many friends and relatives that went before her, sending a bit of her heart with each one, we like thinking they paved the way. She is survived, missed and loved much by daughters Dixie (Gene) Jakovac, Janelle (Reg) Parsons, treasured grandchildren Travis, Tamara, Andra and Cason, Heath preceded her in death, 7 great grandchildren, nieces and nephews and former son-in-law Gerald Thompson.
“Remembering Betty” will be held June 14th at Kramer Funeral Home in Palouse at 1:30 pm.
Kramer Funeral Home of Palouse, WA is handling the arrangements. You are invited to leave online condolences and order flowers for the family at www.kramercares.com.
Memorials may be given to:
Colfax Golf Club Shriners Hospital for Children
2402 N. Cedar 911 W. 5th Ave.
Colfax, WA 99111 Spokane, WA. 99204
specifically for treatment of spinal disease
Shriners Hospitals for Children
P.O. Box 2472, Spokane WA 99219-2472
COLFAX GOLF CLUB
2402 N. CEDAR, COLFAX WA 99111