Elizabeth “Betty” Anne (Farrand) Beeler entered this world on August 2, 1933 in Denver, Colorado, in to the loving arms of her parents, Alice Scott and Van D. Farrand, and her older siblings, Robert, Diane, and Howard. She left it peacefully on June 1, 2019 in Longmont, Colorado surrounded by her three children, Joseph, Vandi, and Julie.
Betty was so many things in her eighty-five years of life, it seems something of an insurmountable task to succinctly describe all that she was and all that she gave to this world and those who knew her, but we shall surely try. She was a daughter, a sister, and a child of the depression and war. She was a musician and artist, a military wife, a mother, a restaurant owner, a skier, a hostess, a golfer, a medical transcriptionist, an aunt, a grandmother, a great-grandmother, a friend to many, and the list could go on. Ultimately, however, she was so much more than any one title or label could convey.
Betty was the perfect mixture of class and whimsy. Like the women in her family that came before her, she was undeniably beautiful, with porcelain skin and thick, auburn hair that transformed into a sparkling ivory as the years went on. She was an unwavering believer in second chances and the power of lending a helping hand. She was an advocate for equality, kindness, empathy, keeping an open mind and leading by example. She was innately curious – a hotbed of questions, conversation, and book recommendations. She was an energizer bunny that ran on sheer will and determination. She was an ever moving musical, both constantly on the move and continually humming whatever song had made its way into her head that day. She was the family historian, capturing every memory and occasion in photo albums that lined her shelves, and carefully saving every letter, note, and moment that was shared with her throughout the years. She was a collector and producer of beauty – from the art she hung on her walls, to the water colors she painted, and the gardens she brought to life. She was eternally optimistic and could seemingly find the silver lining in even the darkest of moments, and the joy in the most mundane aspects of life. She had a melodic, childlike laugh that she produced freely and routinely. She was the first one on the scene at any family emergency, and would remain the cheerful, humming, impeccably dressed port in the storm for as long as you needed her. She was a survivor of breast cancer, of heartache, and of grief. She certainly was not immune to the pain and hardships this world can bring, she just simply refused to be hardened by them.
Of all the things that Betty was and did, the two great consistencies of her life were love and music. Betty was love personified. She was loved by all that knew her and she loved deeply in return. Outside of the people in her life, Betty’s greatest love was music. As a young woman she dreamed of being a performer, and accompanied many a musical event at Elitch Gardens, and spent summers performing in Central City, and she carried this passion for song with her throughout every stage of her existence. Even in the last few years of her life when dementia had taken so much, it could not take love or music. Long after her words had left her, she would still light up when a familiar face walked into the room, and could still be found sitting down at a piano and playing a favorite song from memory. Simply put, Betty was an encapsulation of so much that is good in this world, wrapped up in a 4’11” package with a shiny white bow on top.
Although it is hard to imagine a world without Betty in it, we take great solace in knowing she is now reunited with her loving husband, Joe. As the story goes, Betty and Joe meet at the University of Denver on a spring day in the early 1950s when Joe stepped onto a campus bus and found it entirely empty except for the driver and one other person– Betty. He took a chance and sat down in the empty seat next to her, and they spent the remainder of the ride talking to each other on what would become their first date. Just a year later on Valentine’s Day in 1953, on the eve of Joe’s departure for the Army, they traded that bus for a car and drove off in the night to Las Vegas to elope. It was a fitting beginning for their relationship, as they continued to spend much of the next sixty-four years of their marriage in the car together, journeying from one place to the next. With Joe behind the wheel, Betty in the passenger seat, and their favorite music playing in the background, they spent so many of their days traveling together – from Alaska to Florida and everywhere in between – visiting family and friends, and experiencing all that this world had to offer. We are sure Joe was patiently waiting for her on the other side these last few years, keys in the ignition and foot on the pedal, and now that he’s picked Betty up they are already driving off together once again onto their next great adventure.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents and siblings. She is survived by her three children, Joseph (Terry) Beeler, Vandi (Kirk) Mitchell and Julie (Andy) Rutkosky; grandchildren April (Edgar) Monroe, Brendan (Elizabeth) Forsyth, Meredith (Zak) Monroe, Trevor (Elizabeth) Beeler, Patrick (Melanie) Monroe, Kristen (Jason) Hype and Emilia Monroe; great-grandchildren Aspen, Dylan, Lily, Brendan, Chloe, Jazlyn, Kai, Elinor, Adelaide, Rowan, Evelyn, and Graham; and her many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.