Betty Means died peacefully on Thursday, March 29, 2001 in her daughter's home in Sandy, UT with her daughters at her side.
A native and current resident of California, Betty was born in Pasadena on September 22, 1926 to Harry Basil Hefner and Ava Joy Farmer. She loved drama and music as a child and was a professional model as a young woman. She earned a BA in Speech from the University of California, Berkeley, where she met, and later married, Richard Owen Means in Vallejo, CA in 1948.
Betty touched eternity by serving as a devoted educator for 45 years in California public schools. As an artist and a junior high art teacher she helped many young adolescents explore their emerging identities through artistic expression. Many of her students were placed in her charge when others saw little hope of academic success. She touched the lives of young people even in this school year, as she continued to substitute teach in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District.
Betty was a devout Christian Scientist. In addition to being steadfastly convicted to her religious beliefs, she devoted many hours to church work. She was a Sunday school teacher and served on the Christian Science Monitor Publishing Committee in past years. Recently a friend and Christian Science Practitioner commented that Betty was the best metaphysician she had ever known.
In her later years, Betty became politically active. She loved her country and was proud to fight for her beliefs through protest and sharing her voice publicly. She feared that Americans had become complacent in their obligation as citizens in a democratic society. She believed Americans today take for granted the freedoms that she felt must be continually protected and fought for, if necessary.
Betty is survived by her daughters: Ava Ann Means Nebeker and Grace Elizabeth Means of Sandy, UT; her son-in-law, James Robert Nebeker; her grandsons: Billy Owen Burk, James Travis Nebeker, Zachary Richardson Nebeker, Zephyr Aarn Rothey and her granddaughter, Lillian Ava Means-Rothey; her brothers: William Edward Hefner and Robert Glen Hefner; her nieces and nephews with whom she shared special times. She is preceded in death by her brothers: Harry Leroy Hefner and Charles Frederick Hefner and her previous husband, Richard Owen Means.
Mom, grandma, sister, aunt, friend and worthy debate opponent: May the angels in heaven sing glory and praise for your good works done on earth. We love you and will miss you sorely.
An open house celebration of Betty's life will be held on Sunday, April 1, from 2-4 p.m. at the home of her daughter, Ava Nebeker in Sandy, UT at 294 E. Clover Ridge. Funeral services will be held on April 7 at 3 p.m. at the Oakwood Memorial Cemetery, 3301 Paul Sweet Rd., in Santa Cruz, CA. Another celebration of Betty's life will follow at the beach. Funeral directors, Wasatch Lawn Mortuary.