Born: October 22, 1919
Died: August 01, 2011
Born in Sandpoint, Idaho to Lloyd and Alma Harper on October 22 1919. The family moved to Spokane when Betty was seven years old. Betty was a loving daughter and older sister to Dorothy, who we knew as "Aunt Boo".
Betty was a graduate of Lewis Clark High School and also of Spokane Junior College and a graduate of Washington State University with a double major in Education and Social Work. She taught commercial subjects at the Dillon Montana High School for one year. During World War II she was with Travelers Aid as part of the USO. After World War II she was a Recreation Director for the U.S. Army Special Services assigned to Heidelberg, Germany. Betty met her future husband, Robert William Downs, serving in the U.S. Army. They traveled extensively throughout Europe, returning to the U.S. with a family in tow. Betty taught High School in Coeur d'Alene for one year, and then was appointed Director of the Silver Valley Area Campfire Girls.
Widowed in 1964 with three small children, she returned to Travelers Aid in Spokane, WA. Working 30 yrs with Travelers Aid & Energy Assistance Program. Following retirement, Betty volunteered with Civic Theatre, Snap Food Bank, Spokane Arts School, and Downtown Neighborhood Cop Shop. Was a member of Cascadian Good Sams and Spokane Friends of the Library. She also enjoyed calligraphy, aerobics, golf, and taking classes at SFCC. She did Bloomsday with friends for over ten years. She was also active with the Spokane Junior College Alumni.
Betty was an avid reader, mystery novels were the books of choice, cross word puzzles and playing Scrabble with her family every Sunday, she won most games, even helping us find good words to improve our scores! We needed the dictionary to check out spelling, she did not. Her mind was brilliant. The only TV she watched was the news. Newspapers were read daily.
Preceded in death by husband Robert Downs, daughter Regina Downs and sister Dorothy Mowrey.
Survived by daughter Andrea, and husband Nick Lazanis, son Bill and wife Tracey Downs. Grandsons Jay and wife Megan Lazanis, Tony Lazanis and Bobby Downs. Great-Grandsons Aaron Nicholas Durazo Lazanis, Kohl Nicholas Lazanis.
Betty, Mum, Mom, Gramma, was a wonderful and loving presence in all our lives. She wanted us all to "Be good and have happy lives". Family is the most important thing we will ever have, we were so fortunate she was our Mother. We love you.
Private Family Services will be held at Riverside Memorial Park.