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Beulah "Betty" Wills 1-24-1918 to 12-27-16

Beulah (Betty) Wills was born January 24, 1918 to Arthur and Flossie Wadham in Spokane, Washington. Betty was raised by her father after her mother passed away. She attended North Central High School, Whitworth College and graduated with honors as a medical technologist.
She met her future husband John Wills at Knox Presbyterian. He graduated from WSC and Purdue as an electrical engineer. In August of 1940 he drove to Spokane from Pittsburg, where he was an engineer for Westinghouse, to marry his sweetheart Betty on August 10, 1940. They began their married life in Pittsburg, but shortly after, John ended up in the Army and she returned to Spokane. In May of 1941 Betty became a member of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. John was promoted to the rank of Major and was assigned to a top secret mission. For several years she did not know where he was stationed. He in fact was the second in command at a huge Army Depot in Abadan Persia now Iran.

Shortly after World War II they moved to San Francisco where she worked as a medical technologist to a brain surgeon and John a sales engineer for a large pump company. In 1950 they moved back home to Spokane where she continued her medical work.

In March of 1953 John and Betty purchased a Spokane blueprint shop and engineering supply company. They renamed it Abadan-Spokane. At this point Betty started to participate in community organizations. Two of the first were representing Abadan in the Spokane Ad Club and the Northwest Blueprint Association. For over 40 years she was involved in many local, state, and national organizations. Betty was on the Lilac Festival Board for 12 years. Over the years she served as board president of the Spokane Opera Society, the Symphonic Chorale, Lady Lions, Junior Symphony, she also participated in League of Women Voters. Betty loved to model at The Crescent, Spokane Club, Rusan's and other locations. She soon became interested in community theatre. She performed in a number of plays and was the lead in "Marriage-Go-Round" and "The Visit" at the Spokane Civic Theatre. She expanded her participation to state and national community theatre, first by publishing the Washington State Community Theatre Newsletter for fifteen years and then serving as President of The Washington State Community Theatre Association. In October of 1992 Betty was one of the first women inducted into the American Association of Community Theatres as a "Fellow of AACT." This was for years of significant contribution to the ideals of community theatre. At the Spokane Civic Theatre she was a lifetime member and a member of the Legacy Society. In July of 2009 John and Betty were recipients of the Ina Johnston Award. In 2016 Dr. Welty established the Betty Wills-Elizabeth Welty Endowment for Children at the Spokane Civic Theatre Academy.

John and Betty loved to spend time at their Diamond Lake cabin where Betty enjoyed water skiing. After John retired they spent winters in San Diego and summers in Spokane at their Riverview Condo. During this time they truly enjoyed traveling all over the world. John always had his camera with him and took wonderful pictures of all their travels. They were great supporters of higher education contributing to WSU, Whitworth, Purdue and San Diego State University.

In the early 2000's Betty started showing signs of Alzheimer's. Her husband John passed away in June of 2010. She continued to live in the condo and soon needed 24 hour care. This was interrupted by an emergency trip to the hospital and was unable to return to the condo. She spent these last five years in the Riverview Care Center. Many thanks for the wonderful care the staff of the Riverview Care Center provided Betty and also Colleen Lake and Lee Pennell who have spent many hours taking care of her needs. Betty was an amazing woman who always had a big smile for everyone. She will be greatly missed.

A memorial service will be held Friday, January 27th, 2pm at the Riverview Chapel, 1801 E. Upriver Drive, Spokane. In lieu of flowers, donations in Betty's memory can be made to the Inland NW Community Foundation noting that it is for the Betty Wills/Elizabeth Welty Endowment at 421 W. Riverside Ave. #606, Spokane, WA 99201-0405