BETTY JEAN LEATH

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BETTY JEAN LEATH

The Lord gently took Betty’ Leath’s hand and led her into Heaven on May 3rd, after a short illness. She was surrounded by those who love her. Funeral services for Betty, of Spokane, Washington and former Buffalo resident, will be held Friday, May 24th at 2:00 p.m. at the Buffalo Wesleyan Church, with Pastor William Dunlap officiating. Friends may donate in Betty’s memory to the Susie Bowling Lawrence Hospice or the Valley Fourth Memorial Church Women's Ministry in Spokane in care of the Harness Funeral Home at 351 North Adams Avenue, Buffalo, Wyoming 82834.
Jesse and Lena Gilbert, having thought their family was complete, were surprised with the arrival of their 8th and final child, Betty Jean, on December 22, 1929 in Buffalo, WY. She proved to be the runt of the litter from day one and her six older brothers sometimes delighted in using her as a live little ball as they tossed her back and forth across the back yard. Shortly after Betty’s birth, her family moved to Sandpoint, Idaho. Betty lost her mother when she was in her early teens and came to live with her older brother, Bud Gilbert, and his family, in Buffalo. She graduated from Buffalo High School in 1949. Later she began working at the telephone office, until she met and married Allen Leath in 1950. Three children followed in rapid succession and Betty delighted in staying home with them. She could often be heard singing Que Sera Sera and You Are My Sunshine as she cooked and sewed for her family. She was an excellent seamstress, sewing beautiful dresses for her daughters and making matching western shirts for her whole family each year for the fair and rodeo. She came up with the idea of having the children’s western shirts snap underneath, so they would stay tucked in. Little did she know that later on the majority of young children’s clothes would be made this way. After divorcing, Betty moved to Spokane, WA to be near family. She had a strong work ethic, and retired from the Flying J in 1993 after 30 years of service. Betty was an active attendee of the Valley Fourth Memorial Church, in Spokane, WA. She found gardening and taking care of her yard enjoyable, and counted mowing her own yard clear into her 80’s as one of her best forms of exercise. She also enjoyed playing dominoes, weekly bible studies with friends and belonging to the Red Hat Society. Betty had a keen, feisty, sense of humor, and was not afraid to stand up for what she believed in. Her faith was important to her and she passed her beliefs on to her children. What better gift can a mother give her children? Although small in stature, Betty was a strong independent woman and faced some difficult obstacles in life with unbelievable determination. Her family was her pride and joy. She loved to crochet and made each of her 17 great grandchildren baby afghans and/or sweaters when they joined her family.
Betty is preceded in death by her parents, two sisters, Laverda Churchill and Ina Gossett, five brothers, Bud (Vale) Gilbert, Ken Gilbert, Bob Gilbert, Don Gilbert and Jesse Gilbert, and one granddaughter, Toni Atter. She is survived by her children, Jeanine Sweckard of Sheridan, Marsha (John) Christian of Buffalo, and Gary (Patti) Leath of Chandler, AZ, nine grandchildren, John (Kori) Atter, Chasta Taylor, Mark (Krista) Sweckard, Luke (LeAnne)Sweckard, Brock (Amy) Sweckard, Jac (Sara) Christian, Melisa (Tim) Fixter, Amy (Matt)Irons, and April (Tim)Harris and 17 great grandchildren. She was also blessed to have some special nieces and nephews who were always there to help her out, Hap (Donna) Gilbert, Donna (Don) Scantling, Beverly Taylor, Buck (Ann) Gilbert, Kareen Littlebald Eagle and Kathy Holland.