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Betty Elaine Mather

Betty Elaine Mather passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 28, 2024, surrounded by her loving family. Her son, Randy, rubbed her feet when she passed, a Sunday afternoon tradition of more than ten years. She was 96 years old. Betty’s journey began on August 6th, 1927, in Bloomfield, Nebraska, as the third of five children to Ernest and Alice Jones.

Betty Mather

In 1945, Betty married Robert (Bob) Mather after his return from serving in WWII. Their union blessed them with their first three children: Tommy, Sandra, and Peggy.  The family relocated to California when Bob was stationed at the National City Naval Base in San Diego, eventually settling in Ridgecrest in 1952 when Bob started work at NOTS China Lake.  They then completed their family with two more sons, Jerry and Randy.

Throughout her 72 years in Ridgecrest, Betty left an indelible mark on the community. In her early years, she was a waitress at The Hideaway until becoming a telephone operator for Continental Telephone Company.  Then, what started as “just filling in” became over 20 years of dedicated service at Holland & Lyons Mortuary and Desert Memorial Park, retiring at age 88.  Betty’s commitment to her work and community was unwavering.  Year after year, Betty walked the cemetery every Memorial weekend, placing American flags on the Veteran’s gravesites.  Another job she enjoyed was working the door at Tommy T’s, where she was affectionately known as “Grandma Betty” to most, and Betty Bouncer was in her mind.  She served as Mrs. Santa Claus alongside her husband for over five decades, riding in the annual parades, attending local organization’s parties, and spreading joy and cheer to countless individuals. In her early 40s, Betty overcame her fear of water when she was baptized at Immanuel Baptist Church.

Betty was adventurous and grew up a skilled roller skater.  She put on her last pair of roller skates at 71.  She found them in the garage shortly after the passing of her husband of 54 years and skated down her neighborhood street one last time. She was always strong, spry, and remarkably agile. Other interests included dancing, bowling, and acquiring Betty Boop keepsakes, which matched her kind, sweet, and happy-go-lucky personality.  She also collected frog memorabilia, a passion from her husband Bob’s service as a Frogman in the Navy Frogmen Underwater Demolition Team.  She proudly displayed the license plate “UDT 5” for years on her car. Betty cherished moments with her family above all else, relishing in backyard parties, sporting events, lake outings, country concerts, and road trips.

Betty is survived by her five children, Thomas Mather (Cyndi), Sandra Knott, Peggy Mather, Jerry Mather (Kelly), Randy Mather (Teri), fifteen grandchildren, thirty-six great-grandchildren, and twenty-eight great-great-grandchildren, with more on the way. In her final days, when the family gathered to say goodbye, Betty expressed peace and readiness to meet her Savior, Jesus Christ.

The family is deeply grateful to the High Desert Haven staff, Premier Hospice, and Holland & Lyons for their compassionate care during Betty’s final days. Their support and care were a source of comfort during this difficult time. A celebration of Betty’s life, a testament to her love and joy, will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2024, at 10:00 am at Hope City Church in Ridgecrest (800 W. Upjohn St.), followed by interment at Desert Memorial Park and a reception. Betty’s legacy will forever live on in the hearts of those who knew and loved her and the memories of the community she touched.