Life Story / Obituary
Bette Jean Farris lived just shy of her 82nd birthday and was in great spirits the days leading up to her unexpected yet peaceful transition on April 2, 2022, with her two daughters by her side. She was one of the sweetest people you could ever hope to meet. She had a wonderful laugh and a great sense of humor. She loved her family so much. Her daughters and oldest granddaughters lived nearby with their families so everyone watched out for Gramma Bette (G.G. to the younger ones). Her daughter, Kristie lived with her for the past 12 years after Dick died and they took care of each other. She loved Wednesday mornings that were always spent with her daughters. She looked forward to talking with son, Scott usually on Saturdays and her brother Bill (Jeannie) Isham, on Sundays.
She loved doing crossword puzzles and was good at them. Blue Bloods was her favorite TV show of all time. Purple was her favorite color. She collected dolls and enjoyed life’s simple pleasures. She liked to talk on the phone and could talk with loved ones for hours. She was known as Mom, Mama, Gramma, G.G., and Aunt Bette. She was loved by all and we will miss her so much, even as we feel her sweet, encouraging spirit strong around us.
Her brother, Bill, shared some of his memories.
Bette grew up in a happy, loving family surrounded by family and friends. Our mother’s parents lived next door and dad’s lived a block away. We played games outside until dark and in the summer loved running through the sprinklers. She enjoyed aunts, uncles, cousins and all her neighborhood friends.
She was always participating in church and school activities. She went out of her way to include the girls who were shy or backward or less popular. Bette had a wonderful laugh. She was very kind and cared about everyone her whole life. She loved family gatherings especially singing around the old upright piano while mom played and dad, Bette and me—and later Steven—sang along.
She loved big holiday dinners when the whole family got together. She really enjoyed when we all went next door to Grandma and Grandpa Hall’s on a cold winter night and gathered around the fireplace. When Bette went to Pocatello High School she was so excited to be accepted into the High School Pep Club. She looked darling in her Pocatello Indians maroon sweater and navy blue skirt with white heels.
As children we loved to play hide and seek on cool summer evenings in Idaho. We giggled until we fell asleep in our bunkbeds on the back porch of the house that was our bedroom. We loved to eat popsicles and run through the sprinklers on warm summer days. We loved to swim and ride bikes. Our youngest brother, Steven, was born when Bette was 12 years old. Mother had some health issues for a few months after the birth and Bette took over and adored Steven.
The three of us were really close throughout our lives. Separated by distance we talked by phone every week and sometimes more. We know that Bette is at wonderful peace. And we are left alone with memories of her laughter, kindness and love, but alone until we meet again.
Mama’s story would not be complete without sharing the love story between her and our dad. They were very young when they had us. Dad saw Mama on the first day of High School in Pocatello, Idaho, and went home and told his mom that he had just seen the girl he was going to marry. It happened sooner than they planned and on June 22, 1956, at the age of 15, Mama married our dad. They welcomed daughter Kristie on January 11, 1957, son Scott on January 15, 1958, and daughter LoriJean on April 20, 1960.
We moved to our little house on Curtis St. in 1963 and that’s where we were all raised. The houses were brand new in this recently developed subdivision that Mama’s grandfather owned. It was a small, two bedroom, one bathroom home for five people. Dad later finished the basement with two bedrooms for Kristie and Scott as well as a family room and laundry.
No one could deny how much our parents loved each other. They were openly playful and affectionate our whole lives. They loved us just as much and we never doubted it. Both our parents had a great sense of humor, a wonderful laugh, and gave the greatest hugs. Mama was a homemaker and had her hands full with the three of us, but she was a loving mother and was always there for us.
They struggled financially raising a young family but we never lacked for anything. Whatever we needed was provided. We have fond memories of family dinners around the table every night. Nothing like the comfort of Mama’s homecooked meals. And they made the holidays something special. Oh the fun we had at Christmas! Mama and Dad were just as excited as we were and they delighted in seeing their three children so happy.
Because the folks were so young we were surrounded by a lot of family and a lot of love. We had five grandmas until we were teenagers, two grandmas and three great-grandmas. Aunts, uncles, cousins, we had it all. There were a lot of kids in our neighborhood too and we had so much fun playing kickball, hide and seek or other games with a big bunch of us. On the weekends our dad would be right there playing with us and he was usually the one to throw the first water balloon. Mama was friends with all the other stay-at-home moms. Everybody loved our folks. They were younger than the other parents so we all sort of grew up together.
We lived only a block from the park and the school. What we remember most from our life as Dick and Bette’s children is the love. Our parents were so proud of us and always told us so, even though none of us really did anything extraordinary. But in their eyes we were champions and they always tried to make us feel that way. They would say they made a lot of mistakes but none of us kids feel that way. It’s the love we have for each other that is most important. All three of us kids are good people. We love with all our hearts and we try to help wherever we can. We are who we are because we wanted to make them proud.
They didn’t like to be a part for long and Mama has been here without Dad for the past 12 years. She missed him. We know our Dad was there to greet her when she crossed over and we are so happy they are together again. We can feel their love stronger than we ever have and that brings us much needed peace. We will live our lives to the fullest with joy and laughter, and yes, sometimes tears, until we make our journeys back home and into the arms of our loving parents.
A celebration of Life will be held 11 am, Sunday, May 1, 2022 at Life Story Funeral Home. The family will greet friend starting at 10:30 am. Please visit www.lifestorytc.com to sign the share your thoughts and more.
Bette Farris Obituary
Bette Jean Farris, 81, of Traverse City, MI, passed away unexpectedly yet peacefully on April 2, 2022, with her loving daughters by her side. Bette was born in Pocatello, Idaho on July 23, 1940, to Ray and Evelyn (Hall) Isham. She married the love of her life, Richard (Dick) Farris on June 22, 1956, and they were married until his death on March 28, 2010.
They leave behind 3 children; Kristie Farris of Traverse City, MI, Scott (Vickie) Farris of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and LoriJean Hunt of Traverse City. Grandchildren, Kassie (Allan) Cole, Megan (Eric) Niezgoda, Jeremy (Lisa) Hunt, Susanna (Naman) Venra, Stephanie (Jeremy) Keller, Brian (Saki) Farris, step-grandson, Jeff Haskell, and 11 precious great grandchildren. Hudson, Cyler, Lincoln, Kaylee, Cameron, Kadyn, Grayson (Monica), Liam, Ren, Kira, and Jenika. She stayed close with her brother Bill (Jeannie) Isham of Preston, Idaho, their entire lives and spoke with him on Sundays. She also looked forward to talking to her son on Saturdays.
Bette was a busy stay-at-home mom while raising her children at a very young age. She continued to be the constant “safe place to land” when any of her family was in need. She had the most loving way of encouraging them through hard times. She had a great sense of humor and a wonderful laugh. She loved her independence and enjoyed grocery shopping and running errands in her Subaru Forrester. She was a great friend and kept in touch with lifelong friends Darrell and Nancy Hill of Pocatello and a dear friend in Traverse City, Betty Hale, whom she spoke with weekly.
Along with her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, her youngest brother, Steven Isham, her son-in-law, Gregory Hunt, and countless loved ones. She will be greatly missed by all who were lucky enough to know her.