Betty Lu Whitney Downing, age 96, passed away Tuesday evening, October 1, 2019 at Pruneridge Residential Care Home in San Jose, CA. Betty was born Betty Lu Anderson on October 9, 1922 in Wells, MI to Harry Bostrum Anderson and Bernice Grace (Moore) Anderson. She was the youngest of 5 children, and only 3 years old when her daddy died. 3 siblings died at early ages, but Betty and her brother, Robert “Bob” Anderson, lived with their mom and finished high school in Escanaba, MI. On December 11, 1943, Betty married Vernon E. Whitney. They had 5 beautiful children. The family moved to Santa Clara, CA in 1964 after their son’s Escanaba High School graduation. Betty continued to work as PBX operator at Kaiser Permanente Hospital, then moved to office work in what is known today as Silicon Valley. The love of her life and father of all 5 children, Vernon, passed on for eternity in Santa Clara, CA on February 2, 1978 from cancer. Betty married John D. Downing in 1991 and enjoyed retirement traveling and visiting friends and family. John passed on for eternity in October of 2000.
Betty’s life was very full while living in Escanaba. She and Vernon were very active in the United Methodist Church. Betty was involved in all the PTA’s, Sweet Adeline, Beta Sigma Phi, and numerous other organizations. After moving to California, her family was more of her focus. She was very active in the Santa Clara First Baptist Church and in the local orchestras playing her beloved violin for show time performances with the West Valley Light Orchestra.
Betty’s first love was Our Lord, Jesus Christ. We know she is seeing Our Creator and Savior face to face. Betty is walking on the street called Gold and meeting up with all her many loved ones who have gone on before her. We watch for the day when we will join her again as well.
Betty is survived by her son, William “Bill” (Jackie) Whitney of Tulare, CA; daughters, Marcia (Steve) Brown of Chehalis, WA, Jane (Dennis) McGalliard of Redding, CA, Linda (William) Rider of Shelton, WA, and Susan Whitney of Santa Clara, CA; 5 granddaughters; 2 grandsons; and 7 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; 2 husbands; and 1 grandson.
Private family graveside services will be held in Gardens of Rest Cemetery in Wells, MI.
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