Bettie L. Harris

January 25, 2012 • Obituaries

EUGENE, Ore. — Longtime Roswell resident Bettie L. Harris, 88, of Eugene, died Friday, Jan. 13, 2012, of age-related illnesses. She was born Sept.1, 1923, in Gladstone. Bettie graduated from the University of Oregon and then went to Washington University in St. Louis, where she earned a master’s degree in social work. She married William F. “Bill” Harris in 1949, and they moved to Roswell, N.M., in 1951, where they lived for 47 years. They relocated to Eugene in 1998. Bill preceded her in death in 2003. Bettie was an elementary and middle school teacher at several schools in the Roswell/South Springs area until she retired in 1981. She was passionate about making a difference in the lives of her students, and she volunteered tutoring children in reading for many years after she retired. Bettie was an active member of the Pecos Valley Iris Society, and she and Bill were avid gardeners, growing and providing vegetables to many friends in Roswell and Eugene. In 1998, they were given the keys to Roswell in recognition of their community service.

She loved traveling the world with her family and visited Siberia, Kenya, the Amazon, Malaysia and many other places. Bettie is survived by two children, Leslie Harris, of Eugene, and Lois Pritchard, of Newport. She also is survived by four grandchildren.

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One Response to Bettie L. Harris

  1. Dan Hamill says:

    Bettie Harris was my friend.

    In 1968, I was a somewhat lost and very needy teenager who found my way into her living room as an artifact of my friendship with her daughters, Leslie and Lois. For the nearly two decades that followed, I would randomly appear on her doorstep. Never appearing inconvenienced, she received me as one of her own, always sending me away with a sense of her faith in me as a kid of worth and potential. As the decades passed, I remembered few adults who empowered me as much as she did.

    She, of course, was an educator. I have no idea how many of her students share my debt to her. As is common in a hurried age, I waited too late to let her know.

    Again, Bettie Harris was my friend. This troubled old world is diminished by her departure.

    Dr. Dan Hamill
    Houston, Texas

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