Betty Van Meter

Obituary of Betty W. Van Meter

Betty Jane (Whitten) Van Meter

August 24, 1924 – May 16, 2020

Betty Van Meter was born in Fresno, California, to Albert Everett Whitten and (Lena) Ruth (Wakefield) Whitten.  The youngest of four children, she was born 2 months prematurely, and started out life as she lived it—determined and strong. Her family promoted education as a form of empowerment, and she spent her life working to provide educational opportunities to others.  Betty attended Fresno High School, Fresno State College where she was a member of the Tokalon Honor Society, and UC Berkeley.  She was married for 65 years to her husband Jack, who passed away in 2013. 

Betty enjoyed her heritage of a long line of courageous women who helped change the world of their times. Her great aunt, Annie Hamilton Donnell, was a prolific author and suffragette. Rachel Donnell, her first cousin once removed, became a medical doctor at age 25 and served as a medic in WWI before becoming Director of the Oakland Children's Hospital. 

 

Betty worked to break color barriers as a business education professor at Merritt and Laney Colleges in East Oakland for 22 years. When she and Jack relocated to Pebble Beach, she became part of the adjunct faculty at MPCC. Betty loved to play bridge, and participated in many couples' and women's bridge clubs. She actively supported her children's pursuits and was proud of their personal and professional achievements, including the fact that both of her sons became Eagle Scouts. During their retirement years, Betty and Jack greatly enjoyed hosting family events at Pebble Beach, and had many wonderful international trips together.

 

She was always a sophisticated and gracious host, warmly welcoming friends and giving generously of her time in service to others through PEO and AAUW. She will be dearly missed.

 

She is survived by her children Jim (Candy), Ken (Aimee) and Karen Romito (Steve) as well as four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

 Memorial will be private. Please leave a comment so the Family can reply

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