Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Betty Lorraine Werst Cone would be 89 today.

Dear Mom,
Happy Birthday! Before the last five years of your life, I think we all expected you to be here celebrating this day that would have been your 89th birthday. Unfortunately, dementia robbed us and you of this celebration. It's been two years since you left us and slowly, very slowly, I am beginning to recapture the loving and supportive mother of my childhood. At the same time, letting go of seeing you in such a debilitated state.

For most of the nearly nine decades of your life, you were so vibrant.

Betty Lorraine Werst on left with mother Grace (Colby) Werst and sister Helen Werst
circa 1928 either Spokane or Pendleton, from author's private collection.

With her Grandfather William Wallace Colby at Pine Lawn Farm, Newberg, Oregon
circa 1935 from author's private collection.
As a coed at Oregon State College, Corvallis circa 1948
You were justly proud of being the first person in your family to graduate from college. Earning your degree in Home Economics with a major in Clothing and Textile Design and a minor in child development. That minor was put to good use during the 1950s when you and Dad welcomed four children to your family in six years.

Cone Family in LaHabra, California circa November 1956
from left back row Cecily, Chuck holding Trude, Betty holding Rusty and Peg in front
The sixties brought big changes for our west coast family. Moving to Willingboro, New Jersey was completely out of everyone's comfort zone. But you took it in stride, joining PTA, Community Concerts, the Home Economics Council and herding your four children to adulthood.

Cone Family in Willingboro circa 1963
From back left Betty, Chuck, Cecily, in front Rusty, Trude, Peggy
The seventies were busy, graduations, weddings and a move to Charlotte, North Carolina. The south.... another completly different climate and culture for a girl from the Pacific Northwest. Once again you bloomed where you were planted.

Wedding reception for Ed and Cecily United States Naval Academy Alumni House June 11, 1971
Proud Mom at Rusty's Naval Academy Graduation
Annapolis, Maryland June 1978
Wedding of Trude and Kees Schipper Willingboro December 1978
From left Chuck, Ed, Cecily, Trude, Kees and Betty.
Cone-Gorman Wedding June 28, 1979 Medford, New Jersey
From left Peggy, Trude, Betty, Chuck, Patty, Rusty, Cecily and Ed.

Betty at home in Charlotte 
The eighties brought the arrival of grandchildren, four in three years, and the dawn of Betty Cone's World Wide Moving and Health Care Services. Your children all benefited from your help with new babies, drives across country, packing and much more.

Grandchildren Kristen and Bobby Cone with Betty in Allen, Texas
Betty with granddaughters Colby and Amanda Kelly in Charlotte, North Carolina
The loss of Dad in October 1992, was a blow I can only imagine but you found a way to go on with life, have fun and still be there for friends and family. Keeping track of a family spread from Europe to California was no easy task. You visited all of us, found a new love at home and welcomed another grandchild.

At Peg's and Hugh's wedding in Roswell, New Mexico 1993
from left Betty, Cecily, Trude, Peg, Hugh, Paul, and Rusty
Trude, Rein and Mom in Amsterdam 1994

Doing Tai Chi in her seventies.

The last time with all four kids.
Back from left Peggy, Hugh, Trude, in front Cecily, Betty and Rusty
Golden, Colorado circa 2012
As much as we miss you, we are also relieved that you are no longer suffering.
Happy Birthday Mom!


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