“Strength and honor are her clothing...a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.”
Betty Arlene Barrett was received into the loving arms of her Savior, Jesus Christ, on May 12. She passed away peacefully in her sleep while under the watchful care of her family.
Betty was born in Potlatch, Idaho on November 29, 1929 to Leroy and Georgian Needham who had recently moved from Penawawa, Washington to nearby Onaway, Idaho. Later the family moved across the Potlatch River to a farm in Rock Creek, Idaho where Betty lived for most of her childhood.
Betty was the oldest daughter in a family of five children that struggled through the Great Depression during her early years. Working hard was an expected way of life for the Needhams. At a young age Betty took on adult responsibilities of running the home and caring for her younger siblings while her father worked at the Potlatch sawmill and her mother ran the family farm.
Betty graduated from Potlatch High School and left home to attend Northwest Nazarene College (now, Northwest Nazarene University) in Nampa, Idaho. There she met the love of her life, William Ellsworth Barrett, whom she married on December 24, 1948. Despite early concerns that they might not be able to have children, Bill and Betty were blessed with five children (four boys and a girl).
Betty remained home until her youngest child entered first grade. She then volunteered in the school library for a time, after which she worked as bookkeeper for Fearless Farris Stinker Station followed by a long career as an accountant for Capital Educators Federal Credit Union (now, CapEd). After retiring from CEFC, Betty joined Micron and worked into her mid-seventies on the assembly line and in the clean room before retiring again.
Betty remained active during her 70s and 80s serving her community. Often Bill and Betty volunteered to ring collection bells for the Salvation Army at Christmas time. Betty also regularly donated blood, obtaining her 100 units pin. Additionally, you would likely see Betty with one of her grandchildren pushing a donation barrel along the July 4th parade route in Boise.
Even through her 80’s Betty loved working her garden and taking a daily 2-3 mile walk. Shortly after her final retirement, Betty took on the care of her husband, Bill, when his health began to fail, and she stayed by his side faithfully caring for him until he went home to heaven in 2012. They had been married for 63 years.
Having been raised by her parents in a strong Christian home, Betty demonstrated the Christian characteristics of faith, charity, and diligent labor her whole life. She and Bill in turn passed this same faith on to their children. Finding herself housebound as her own health declined in her last few years was difficult for such an active, outdoor loving woman. However, Betty rested in her faith in Christ. Betty will be greatly missed, but we rejoice that she is now in the presence of her Lord and Savior.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Leroy Talbert Needham and Georgian Ethal Needham (Cram), her older brother Marion Leroy Needham, and her younger sister Mary Lois Needham, her husband William Ellsworth Barrett, and one son, Michael DeWayne Barrett. She is survived by her brothers Calvin Clayton Needham of Hendersonville, Tennessee and Joseph Dale Needham of Vancouver, Washington. She is also survived by four of her children: Steve Barrett, Christine Halstead, David Barrett, and Timothy Barrett. At the time of her death, Betty was grandmother to 15, and great-grandmother to 22.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Betty’s name to your choice of the following:
· JEMfriends of Boise, Idaho (a nonprofit that assists young people from foster care and children’s homes in their transition to adulthood)
· Mission Aviation
A committal service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 8th 2023 at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, Boise.