Longtime Hood River Valley resident Betty Jo Draper passed away on May 23, 2018. She was born Feb. 6, 1936, to Harry and Golda Fry in Wakenda, Mo., the fifth of their five children. Betty’s father passed away when she was 6 years old; the family, who had been farming, moved west during World War II so her brothers could work in the shipyards in Portland, Ore.
As a young teenager, she and her mother moved to Parkrose, Ore., and then to Oakridge, Ore., where she attended high school and graduated in 1954. She met her future husband, Jerry Draper, in Oakridge and they married later that same year.
Betty and Jerry began their life together and had three children. Jerry worked in construction, so they lived in many different towns over the years, including Blue River, Wenatchee, Florence, Rufus and Arlington, finally settling in Hood River in 1965. Betty loved the beauty of the Hood River Valley and commented many times how happy she was to live there.
Betty worked other jobs while running a household and raising a family. She was a familiar face at Montgomery Ward catalog store for many years, eventually taking the role of manager until the store closed. She began a new career with Benjamin Franklin Savings and Loan, which later became Bank of America, working in customer service. She finished her career there, retiring in 1998.
Betty started the Hood River chapter of ESA, Delta Kappa, in 1966 and is the only remaining charter member of the chapter. Betty devoted most of her adult life working with Delta Kappa on their many community fundraisers, including a home tour, bingo, holiday bazaar, and goodie bags at Valentine’s Day. She really enjoyed being able to support such great causes like St. Jude Research Hospital, Easter Seals and local scholarships. Betty was recognized for her community service by being profiled in the Hood River News series “52 Faces” in 2009.
After retirement, Betty was able to focus on her other love — gardening. She was a member of the Odell Garden Club and was very involved in their plant sales and made floral arrangements at the county fair. She spent many hours working in her garden, moving one plant here and another there. She loved flowers and her garden showed it. She enjoyed showing her garden to her friends and family when they would visit.
Betty loved painting and was quite good at it. She has painted numerous oil paintings that adorn the walls of their home and their children’s homes.
Betty was also a member of the Red Hats, which she really enjoyed. She volunteered at Hospice of the Gorge, Heart of Hospice, Meals on Wheels and the Hood River Hospital. She also sat on the Hood River Library Foundation Board. She loved her community and gave back in so many ways.
Betty enjoyed some traveling as well. With Delta Kappa, she was able to visit Arizona, Palm Springs, Calif., go on two cruises and visit Hawaii. She also traveled to Sweden many years ago. She and Jerry had a camp trailer and enjoyed many camping trips, mostly to the Oregon Coast and the Maryhill area in Washington. They enjoyed taking their bikes, putting their poodle, Misty, in the basket and going for bike rides, either in their neighborhood or at campgrounds during their camping trips.
Betty is survived by her husband, Jerry, her three children and their spouses: Cindy and Bill Strom, Rick and Jan Marie Draper, and Penny and Don Phelps. She loved her grandsons and great-grandchildren. She made many special memories with them and loved being surrounded by family and friends.
Betty’s celebration of life will be at noon on Saturday, June 9 at Anderson Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, with a reception to follow. Interment will be private at Idlewilde Cemetery.
Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to Delta Kappa Sorority (P.O. Box 121, Odell, OR 97044).
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center. Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
Information from the News and our advertisers (Want to add your business to this to this feed?)