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Betty L. (Wilder) West

Betty L. (Wilder) West

After a long life filled with good humor, great stories, and the love of her family, Betty Leone West passed away at the age of 88 on Jan. 15, 2013.

The daughter of Albert and Ruth Kitty Wilder née Grindrod, Betty was born on April 9, 1924, in Aberdeen, Wash. Though she had only one sibling, David, she was born into thelarge and boisterous Wilder clan. Betty graduated from Aberdeen High School and worked at The Siberian Room, the family restaurant.

During World War II, Betty became a riveter while awaiting news of her Navy sweetheart. She married Harold W. West, the newly returned POW, on Oct. 11, 1945 and loved to tell how the whole town of Aberdeen helped to plan the wedding in a week. After the loss of their baby Gregory in 1946, Hal and Betty welcomed their son Lawrence in 1955. Betty and Hal had almost 40 years together; she supported him while he was in college in California, as they moved for his job as an engineer for the Navy, and as he fought his last battle with cancer.

Betty was the family genealogist, researching back to the 1400s and became an officer in the Seattle Genealogical Society. She knew all the stories and had no trouble recalling dates into her eighties. Whether it was learning a new computer or building a garden wall, if Betty wanted to do it she would do her research and get it done. She also enjoyed playing her piano, gardening, reading, and all sorts of crafts - including crocheting gifts for the family reunion at Sylvia Lake and Barbie clothes for her much loved granddaughter, Kyra.

Those who knew Betty well knew that she was ready to start the next part of her journey. There is no doubt that Hal was waiting for her on the other side the day she died - probably asking what took her so long.

Betty is survived by her son, Larry West (Shannon), granddaughter Kyra West, nieces LuAnne and Susan Wilder, and “nephew” Steve Wilson. A graveside service took place Feb. 24, at Wynooche Cemetery in Montesano, followed by a gathering at The Beehive Restaurant.