Fortuna, Calif., resident Preston Clifford Betz, died Sunday, June 29, 2008, at home with his wife, Vivienne, and daughter, Sharon, at his side. He was 86.
Per his request no services will be held.
Mr. Betz was born Aug. 25, 1921, to David and Anna Betz in Canton, Ohio. He was a veteran of the Air Force and served during World War II. He met and married his late wife, Bernice Luther Betz, in 1944, in San Francisco, where they started their family.
The family moved to Alaska in 1950 where he worked for Midnight Sun and Tile in Anchorage and Alyeska Ski Resort in Girdwood. He retired from his employment with the state of Alaska maintenance division. He was named exalted ruler of the Kenai Elks Lodge and he also helped found the Kenai Moose Lodge.
"He was active in the community and was always happy to entertain friends. Preston and Bernice moved to California early in the '80s. They lived in Rio Dell, where Bernice passed away in 1996. After a couple of years of loneliness, Preston joined the Humboldt County KitchenAires band, bowling, volunteering and dancing with the Friendship Circle dance club. In 2002, and after seven years of being a widower, Preston met his present wife, Vivienne, who was also widowed when she joined the KitchenAires. They were happily married for nearly six years before Preston passed away," his family said. "With the band, they enjoyed entertaining at schools, care homes and played the Humboldt County Fair yearly. They delivered the Senior News monthly until Preston's health no longer permitted. They also enjoyed raising their foster granddaughter, Cheyanne, after her dad, Randy, passed away. Preston was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Eureka Moose Lodge and Fortuna Senior Services, although he had not been active for some time due to illness. He missed being out and around people. He was a special man and will be missed by his family and friends. God Speed, Pres!"
Mr. Betz was preceded in death by his parents; first wife; daughter, Edith Ann Betz; son, Clifford Paul Betz; brothers, Harold L. and David F. Betz; and stepson, Randy Hines.
He is survived by his wife; daughter, Sharon Johnson of Loleta; sisters, Betty Teis (Mel) and Jackie Bruder (Ed), of Canton, Ohio; sisters-in-law, Frances Mae Thompson (Jim), of Fortuna and Agnes Wall (Herb), of Eureka; step-children, Ellen Durfee (Bob) of Fairhaven, Ben Hines (Judy), and Craig Hines (Shelly), all of Vancouver, Wash., and Joe Hines (Jane), of Phoenix, Ariz.; grandchildren, Carolyn Lopez (Max), John M. Wolfe (Randi), Ginger Betz and David Betz, all of Alaska; great-grandchildren, Tiffaney, Isabelle and Vanessa Lopez and Samantha, Sarah, Ryker and Wolfe of Alaska; step- and great-grandchildren too numerous to mention; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial donations be made to Hospice of Humboldt or the charity of the donor's choice.
Arrangements were made by Pierce Mortuary in Eureka.
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