Betty Lou Nielsen (Betsy) of South Bend passed away peacefully on Monday, October 23, 2017 at Providence St Peter Hospital in Olympia. She was 75 years young. Betty was born on October 31, 1941 to Carl and Ethel Carlzen in Buffalo, New York. The family later moved to Northridge, California where Betty attended high school and went on to graduate from California State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.
As an adult, Betty lived in Wyoming, New York, San Jose, California, and finally South Bend, Washington with her children and husband Jay Bee Smith. After recuperating from a brain aneurysm in 1984, she later married her best friend Gary Kloch Nielsen at the South Bend Lutheran Church.
Betty spent over 20 years as a 1st grade teacher with her last years spent teaching at South Bend Elementary School. She loved her students and co-workers. She retired at the end of the 1983-1984 school year. Many of her students have shared fond memories of her.
Following her retirement, she became a Master Gardner and spent her leisure time sewing and reading. She enjoyed getting together with family and especially loved her grandchildren. She was always up for a good joke and loved to laugh. Thanks to an amazing neurosurgeon, her family enjoyed 30 more great years with her. She earned her wings peacefully and surrounded by love and is reuniting with her beloved family and friends in heaven.
Betty is survived by her son Ryan Smith (Debbie) of Chehalis; daughters Kim Fortman (Carl) of Montesano and Cindy Sherman (Henry) of Aberdeen; grandchildren Hanna Sherman, Sophia Miller, Jacob Wentz, Erika Smith, and Kirstin Smith; and great grandchildren Kyleigh Hale, Carson Smith and Addilyn Buezo. She is also survived by her nephew Joshua Giberson. She was preceded in death by her husband Gary, ex-husband Jay Bee, father Carl, mother Ethel, sister Susan, and brother-in-law Mark.
To share memories or express condolences please visit www.harrisonfamilymortuary.com Harrison Family Mortuary of Aberdeen is honored to assist the family.