Thursday, October 13, 2016

Betty Jane Cord Vreeken, BHS 1952

Betty Jane (Cord) Vreeken, born in Des Moines, Iowa September 18, 1934, passed away peacefully in her sleep early in the morning of Thursday, June 26, 2014 after a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease.

From the age of 4 to 18 she lived with her family in Los Angeles, then Sun Valley, California. At the age of 17 she graduated from Burbank High School in 1952 and was married in Sun Valley, California on June 21, 1953 to Roland A. Vreeken. They lived in the San Fernando Valley until 1987, when they moved to Renton, Washington.

Her most important life's work was being a wife and mother of four children. Along the way, she had many career opportunities. She worked in retail furniture sales before marriage. When her youngest child was a teenager, she opened a floral business called the Posy People. After her partner passed away, she became a wedding coordinator at a nearby Protestant Church. Later, she and her sister, Carol, and their sister-in-law, Karen, began a manufacturing business known as the Three Sisters, producing Friendly dolls that sold in national department stores. Next she worked at her son Mark's printing shop, (Mark IV Printing), as bookkeeper and office manager. Finally, in Renton, she worked in the office of her son David's wholesale food distribution company (Pop's EZ Popcorn and Supply) until retirement in 2003.

Betty loved to serve and help others. She exhibited this as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints in a variety of assignments. She served as the president of the Young Women's organization (12-18 yr. olds) for many years, as an active leader of a Young Single Adult congregation (18-30 yr. olds) in the women's organization, and as President of the Relief Society (the adult women's organization) in her local ward. During most of those years she was a member of the ward choir. She also taught many classes for women and children throughout the years.

While raising her children, she and Roland also had a foster daughter (Charlene DeClay) for three years who was of Apache descent. She came from the reservation during the school year and went home to her family in Arizona during the summer with the hope of receiving a better education than was available on the reservation at that time. Charlene is still in contact with the family all these years later.

Among her hobbies, Betty loved to sew, read, cook, and make floral arrangements. Although she was not an athlete or camper, she loved picnics, and loved to attend girls camp and youth conferences with the young women to help them learn more of faith and womanhood, and to have good clean fun. She also loved musical plays and orchestrated family theatrical presentations at Christmas or Thanksgiving to provide all the children with an appreciation for the arts.

Betty was pre-deceased by her father, Carl Victor Cord, and mother, Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Lambert, her younger brother Gerald Raymond Cord, and his son Christopher Cord.

She is survived by her husband, Roland A. Vreeken; her younger sister Carol Diane Walder and her two children and three grandchildren; her brother's widow, Karen Cord and one child. She is also survived by her four children (Laura Mattson, David Vreeken, Mark Vreeken, and Steven Vreeken) and their spouses; 18 grandchildren (11 of whom are married); and 25 great-grandchildren.

On June 21st, Betty and her husband celebrated their 61st anniversary of marriage. She was respected by all who knew her as a kind, considerate, loving, sharing and caring person. She was always ready to help, serve and support others

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