Elizabeth Ann Hodges
July 16, 1933 – September 18, 2019
Elizabeth Ann Hodges 86, of Valley Center passed away 09/18/2019 at home surrounded by her loved ones after a courageous battle with cancer.
Elizabeth (Bettie) was born 07/16/1933 in Wilmington, Delaware the oldest of 6. She is survived by her loving husband Donald Gene Hodges, brother John Bartsch, sister Susan (Mike) Tiano, daughters Donna (Woody) Bird, Debbi Petre, Doreen (David) Kanady, Dawn (Allen) Zon, 7 Grandchildren, 7 great Grandchildren, and 3 Great, Great Grandchildren.
Bettie grew up on a farm in Delaware. Her father trained horses and as a teenager and young adult, she competed in horse jumping events winning many trophies. She would tell you farm life was not for her and as soon as she graduated High School, she found a job as a Telephone Operator. She met her husband Don on a blind date set up by her cousin. They attended a military dance where Don was stationed. Bettie said Don was the most handsome man on the base. Don was equally smitten, but before proposing he had a couple of questions to ask her – do you cook? And do you sew? As fate would have it, Bettie loved to cook and sew and was quite good at both! In later years, her email address was cooksNsews.
Bettie was a spirited and adventurously outgoing person. She drove a school bus for a number of years and after moving her family to Florida to be with her mother, she became one of the first female city bus drivers in the state and received recognition several times for her outstanding job performance. She loved the beach and loved going fishing, crabbing and camping. When her children reached High School, she enjoyed going to the football games and watching them march in the band. Bettie’s next move was to Kansas to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren. She went back to school to become a Unit Secretary and worked at Riverside Hospital. She spent her spare time riding her bicycle with the grandchildren, baking and sewing and loved planting flowers around the house and had a nice vegetable garden.
In 1992 she moved back to the East Coast with the love of her life, Don and spent time reconnecting with family. They traveled extensively, picking up a grandchild each summer for a wonderful adventure of camping and sightseeing. In 2001, they returned to Kansas and made their home at The Ranch. She was always learning and with new technology developing in sewing, she would take classes and teach other sewing buddies. She was creative and fun and would sew costumes for camping jamboree competitions often taking first place. Bettie had macular degeneration and eventually lost a great deal of her eye sight and could not cook and sew. Typical of Bettie, when one door shut, she found another that was open and discovered a new interest in College Basketball and NFL football games. She knew all about the players, the teams and the coaches. The Kansas teams were her favorite and sometimes family events had to be planned around an important game!
Unexpectedly in 2014 she was diagnosed with Lung Cancer and not given a good prognosis. She chose to go through treatment saying a year wasn’t long enough she had things she needed to see happen – her granddaughters wedding, a great grandson high school graduation, a granddaughter to graduate from college. The doctors called her their miracle child as she took full and complete advantage of 5 years in remission. She loved going to YMCA water aerobics and visiting and it was a goal for her to get back to class. When she was diagnosed the end of June with metastasis to the brain, she again chose treatment saying she had a grandson who played soccer and one that played trumpet and wanted to see what happened. Church going and ever faithful in the Lord, she never quit the race, complaining only when physical challenges as a result of her illness limited her ability to participate in her families’ activities.
Our Mom, Bettie, was not only the Matriarch of our family, but the greatest of Cheer Leaders in all everyone did. Much more than this, she was and will forever be an inspiration of how to live the gift of life to the fullest, with kindness, joy, love and strength in the life she lived, and faith she held. She is missed by us all and a part of our hearts will remain with her forever, as a part of her will remain with us always.
- Memorial Service Sunday, September 22, 2019
Elizabeth Ann Hodges
September 20, 2019
I didn't know Bettie very well, but I know her daughter Doreen. I have met her other daughters as well. If her children are a representation of Bettie, you know she was a good person. I also know how missed she will be in their lives and in her grandchildren's lives. That makes her a special person. She will live on in their memories forever.