Betty Jean Reid was born on April 19, 1924 in a Taft, California maternity hospital on her paternal grandfather’s birthday. Her simple, small home on oil lease land in Fellows, California, had no glass in the windows, just roll-down window covers. Her Dad, Vallie Roan Reid of Missouri, worked on the oil rigs. Vallie eloped with Betty’s mother, Lucinda Maria Pendleton, who was raised in the area now known as Capitol Reef Monument.
Described as a “timid child” by her mother, Betty would shut her eyes when visiting the few relatives she had. She loved her Patsy Ann and Shirley Temple dolls, and spent lots of time on her swing set and playing with her cat. Most of her growing up years were spent in Ventura, California. She was the youngest in her class as she was “double promoted” in her early schooling. Her father passed away when she was 15 years old. At that point, she was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
As a Drill Team Leader in high school, she marched at athletic events and in city parades. After high school she worked at the Bank of America as a secretary, then teller until she was 21. After her father’s death when Betty was 15, her mother remarried and Betty lived next door to them in an apartment shared with her step father’s mother. During World War II, she was a member of the Girl’s Service Organization (G.S.O.) in Ventura. That involved serving as a hostess in recreation facilities for the servicemen and also served at a small beachside canteen for the servicemen. She experienced the shortage of butter, no nylons, and long lines, but managed quite well overall. At 18, she served as the ward MIA President, as most of the young men were away at war.
At 21, Betty went to BYU just as the G.I.’s were coming home from World War II. Most of Betty’s friends at BYU were boys. They asked her to try out for BYU Snow Queen. Her four years studying to be a social worker at college were filled with many treasured experiences and happy memories.
One semester shy of a college degree, Betty ended her formal education after her Salt Lake LDS Temple marriage to Louis Eugene Harvey on January 30, 1950. Only their parents were present at their marriage. They moved into their first home in American Fork, Utah. There Kristie, Karen, and Ronald were born and an exciting black and white TV moved in with the family as did a party-line telephone. Five years later, they moved into their new home on Center Street, where Tamara and Lisa joined the family The family home was right across the street from the American Fork Junior High playing field, which was good for the dog and the kids. They spent 36 happy years there with raspberry bushes and a nectarine tree. Later on, a vacation home was built for them in Washington, Utah, providing a getaway destination for Gene and Betty and their growing family. The Harvey dream home was built in 1996 in the Hidden Oaks area of Highland, Utah. They loved the whole garden-like area and the neighbors who included dear family members and wonderful friends. There, 21 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren were welcomed and warmed with love and given her undivided attention. She wrote books about her grandchildren’s adventures. She has found much satisfaction in her marriage and family, and pride in her missionary grandsons. Betty’s best friends are her children who helped her take her weekly donations to the Utah Food Bank and act as hair dressers or laughing partners.
Homemaking and shopping were Betty’s favorite things to do. Finding a great bargain meant a successful foray. She also involved herself in continuous service in the community, schools, and LDS Church organizations. Civically, she was the American Fork City Recreation Director, American Fork Hospital Gift Shop Buyer and Snack Bar Manager, PTA President. Being a 4-H leader for 11 years allowed her to organize many community service projects for her group of girls to participate in. From painting curbs and fire hydrants to teaching bicycle safety in elementary schools, the next generation was taught to be caring and involved
In the LDS Church, Betty was a Boy Scout Den Leader, Junior Sunday School Coordinator, MIA Counselor, the Alpine Stake Relief Society President for seven years, Name Extraction Coordinator, Temple Ordinance Worker six years, part-time Service Missionary in the Employment Center, and was a long time Visiting Teacher. She had a great interest in genealogy and temple work.
Betty’s beloved Gene passed away on 11-12-13. She remained in her home for another year and has spent almost a year and a half in a lovely memory care center. Her children managed to visit every day until her death on June 22, 2016. She passed away peacefully in her sleep, with no lingering illnesses.
A devoted daughter, Betty faithfully wrote her mother letters every week of her life. Her children watched her progress from handwritten letters to the click and clang of a manual typewriter which was replaced by an efficient electric typewriter and finally a computer, which remained a mystery to her. The annual travel on summer vacation with the children to Disneyland California improved with years. Originally driving through the hot deserts of Nevada at night to manage the heat, the Harvey station wagon progressed to a rented, externally attached air conditioning unit hung on the window, and finally to built in air conditioners. Clothes and sheets that were hung on the line to dry then sprinkled and ironed evolved into permanent pressed fabrics. The washer/wringer kept in the basement (and used on occasion) finally found their way out of the house. This girl, who never met her grandfather because Missouri was too far away by car or train, went to the corners of the world as an adult.
A special thanks to the kind staff at Highland Glen Senior Living for their friendly and compassionate care.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 11 a.m. in the Highland 7th Ward, 5212 West Country Club Drive. A viewing will be held Friday from 6-8 p.m. at Anderson & Sons Lone Peak Chapel, 6141 West 11000 North, Highland and Saturday at the church from 9:45-10:45 a.m. prior to the services. Burial in American Fork Cemetery. Please share a memory and read about Betty at andersonmortuary.com.
Subscribe to receive future obituary notices. Click the RSS Feed button below
American Fork Chapel
49 East 100 North
American Fork, UT 84003
Lone Peak Chapel
6141 West 11000 North
Highland, UT 84003