Betty E. Gillette

Affectionately called Betty Boop by all who knew her, Mom passed away peacefully in her sleep at age 84 on Oct. 25, 2010.

She was born on May 19, 1926, to Blanche and Raleigh Hughes, near Medford, Ore. A descendant of the Rogue Valley pioneers Elias Hughes and Roxy Ann Bowen, Mom was proud of her family history, and grew up on the flanks of Roxy Ann Butte on the 401 Pear Orchard. She attended Roosevelt Elementary, McLoughlin Jr. High, and Medford High School.

She married Ernest Squires in 1943, and had two children, Ernest "Gene" and Gary.

In 1953, she married Walter Scott "Spud" Gillette. They settled in Central Point, Ore., where Glenn, Clayton, Rebecca and Russell were born before the family moved to the Jacksonville area in 1961.

Betty worked at coloring photographs, as a nanny, forming and painting ceramics, as an operator for Ma Bell, as a teacher's aide for Medford schools, and for Offord Finance. She also was a private tutor and piano teacher for many years.

Betty and Spud were active members in the Rogue Valley Caravaners, and were frequent campground hosts at Whiskey Springs and Fish Lake. She was active in Phoenix Grange as an officer and pianist, happily playing marching songs. She and Spud were also active in the Roxy Ann Gem and Mineral Club.

Betty started running at age 57 and participated in and volunteered for many running events. She was proud of completing the Crater Lake and Avenue of the Giants marathons, as well as many local runs, finishing the Pear Blossom Run each year into her late 70s. She also enjoyed her time as secretary of the Southern Oregon Sizzlers Running Club.

Betty had a special spot in her heart for children and volunteered many hours for the Childrens' Advocacy Center and the SMART reader program. She was an avid reader and loved teaching children to read.

Her other interests included spending time with family, nature, gardening, walking, backpacking, drawing, and music.

She will be missed by her children, Gene and Karen Squires, Glenn and Vicki Gillette, Clayton and Connie Gillette, Rebecca and Larry Canty and Russell Gillette; 13 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; her sister, Ina (Roy) Reed; brother, Richard (Annabelle) Hughes; and many nieces and nephews.

Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Spud; son, Gary (Ava) Squires; two brothers, Raleigh Hughes Jr. and James Hughes; and a great-granddaughter Jordee Nunez.

Many thanks to her recent caregivers, Kim and Jane, and the staff at Providence Hospice.

At Betty's request, no service will be held. A family celebration of life will be held in the summer at Crater Lake.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Childrens' Advocacy Center, 816 W. 10th St., Medford, OR, or the SMART reading program, 670 Superior Court, Suite 108, Medford, OR, or buy a book for a child.

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