Betty Jean Bjerke, 86, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, at her residence in Hood River, Ore. Betty was born July 31, 1927, in Salem, Ore., to Earl and Lillie (Bowden) Colburn. She grew up in Salem, also living in Nehalem, Manzanita and Rose Lodge, and as of 1963 made her home here locally.
Betty graduated from Nehalem High School. She then began working as a phone operator, meeting her husband who was a lineman. The story goes that they met due to Betty accidentally shocking Bud. She also worked at Diamond Fruit and the Hood River Inn.
Betty married Andrew “Bud” Leland Bjerke June 1, 1946, going their separate ways in 1969. Bud passed away in 1980. In 1979 Betty began her new journey with Pete Tanner of Hood River, who is her life companion.
Betty enjoyed crochet, knitting, gardening and traveling, and as of this last year she and Pete traveled the U.S. and Canada in their motor home, selling it in 2008 for a Dodge van. She quilted lab robes for the veterans living at the Oregon Veterans Home in The Dalles, was a member of the Hood River Saddle Club and was a Scout mom for the Boy Scouts when her sons were young.
The family remembers Betty for her loving and giving nature, that she said what was on her mind. She mostly valued the time she spent with family being the family advocate, and making sure she knew the goings-on in each of her family member’s lives.
Betty is survived and will be dearly missed by her companion of 34 years, Pete Tanner; her three children: Stanley G. Bjerke, of Gresham, Sandy Carter and her husband, John, of Canby, and Buz Bjerke and his wife, Brenda, of Sheridan; six grandchildren: Brad, Shon, Tony, Jessica, Miranda and Jac; and eight great-grandchildren.
Memorials are encouraged to be made in Betty’s name to Providence Volunteer Services to provide knitted afghans for premature babies.
A Celebration of Life will be held Oct. 12 at the Hood River Valley Adult Center, 2010 Sterling Place, from 1-3 p.m. Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals, Receptions, Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031; 541-386-1000. Please visit andersonstributecenter.com to leave a note of condolence for family.
Condolences are being received online.
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