Our Mom, Betty Besse, passed away June 15th, 2022, 3 months short of her 98th birthday.
Mom was born in Flint, MI on Sept 20th 1924. She was the second of 4 children to be born to John and Mable Bougas and the last one to pass away.
Mom is survived by her 3 children & their spouses, John & Gladys Bates, Carol & KL Johnson and Sandy & Ed Sakal. She had 7 Grandchildren, Jason & Jeff Bates, Tristan Bates, Shawna Beaty, Ryan Sakal and Niki Bunich along with 8 Great Grandchildren.
Mom out lived most of her friends, but even after surviving the Camp Fire in Paradise, CA 3 years ago, she kept in touch with Fred and Rita Riecher and Lynn Kraft. Our family thanks them for being such good friends to Mom for so many years. Also, Mom loved being a Lion's Member and had been a Lion for over 40 years. Thank you to all of her Lion friends that knew her and were Mom's friends.
Anyone who knew our Mom, knows what a feisty, strong willed woman she was. She raised all of her kids to be strong and self reliant too. If you want something, work for it. There are no free rides. She was a child of the Great Depression and she drilled into us the value of a dollar. Work hard, be strong and be able to take care of yourself. That was our Mom and that is what she taught her children.
Betty was so proud to have served in the Air Force during WW11. Mom was only in for a little over 2 years, but she loved the time she was there and always said it was the best years of her life. She had tried to enlist at 18, but women had to wait until they were 20 back then so she had to wait 2 more years to join. She enlisted the day after she turned 20, Sept 21st, 1944. Mom tried to reenlist at the end of the War, but they didn't need as many people then and said they found that her heart skipped a beat. Mom said they just found a reason to not let her reenlist or she would have retired in the Air Force. She loved it that much.
Mom was never very demonstrative, but we all knew how much she loved us. She always had our backs. If you ever needed anything, Mom was there. We never questioned how much Mom loved us and we loved her.
My brother, sister and I were lucky enough to grow up in So. CA and Mom took us everywhere. She drove us to the beach, the Mountains, Knox Berry Farm, Disneyland, POP, Places like Calico Ghost Town and too many other places to mention. Because of Mom, we got vacations every summer to places like Yosemite and Yellowstone National Park, Washington D.C., Mount Rushmore and The Grand Canyon. There are so many more places she took us to, but too many to mention. Because of our Mom, we had a GREAT childhood.
Mom was one of a kind and she will be missed dearly. We know how lucky we have been to have Mom in our lives for this long, but everything goes by so fast and now she's gone, but never forgotten.
By Mom's request, there will be no service. Mom's ashes will be laid to rest at Riverside National Cemetery across the street from March Air Force base. We're sure Mom is happy with that.