Betty Joann Pease of Billings, Montana, passed away on March 4, 2020, at the age of 83. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and aunt. Betty spent the remainder of her life with her daughters, grandchildren and friend Sarah, peacefully in her home.
Betty passed away 10 days after her beloved husband, Bernard Leonard Pease. They were a true love story and couldn’t live without each other. Although our hearts are hurting, we are at peace knowing Bernard waited for Betty and hand in hand they crossed together and are fishing again on the Big Horn River.
Betty was born in Laurel, Montana on May 16, 1936 to Fred and Lydia Brester. Betty was a sister to Jerry, Larry, Richard, Kenny, Bob, Judy and Sally.
In 1952, Betty met the love of her life, the handsome Bernard Pease Sr., from Lodge Grass, Montana. Betty and Bernard celebrated 68 years of marriage. Bernard and Betty have five children; Rosella, Sherrie, Helen, Bernard Jr., and Linda. Her husband Bernard started Bernard Pease Masonry and built many symbolic buildings across the State of Montana. Betty helped run the family business and worked with her daughter Linda Thomas at Bibs to Books Daycare helping raise her grandchildren. Betty loved working in the infant room and cooking meals for all the kids. She often got caught by her daughter sneaking her grandchildren in the kitchen and feeding them extra treats, always fulfilling her duties of spoiling her grandchildren.
Betty was the perfect wife, mother and grandmother. She always hosted the most amazing family dinners, holidays and sleepovers. She went above and beyond when it came to food, decorations and traditions. Betty and Bernard had a big beautiful garden. When she wasn’t working, you could find her in the garden and planting flowers at her home. To bribe her grandkids to help, she use to hide pennies and dimes next to the plants so while picking weeds they’d find little presents along the way.
One of Betty’s favorite accomplishments was talking Bernard into letting her get a cat. After spending hours in the shelter, picking out the perfect cat, she returned with a poofy orange kitten with the most beautiful tail. Betty was so excited and wanted to think of the perfect name, but until then, she called him “Kitty.” Betty took so long thinking of a name that by the time she thought of one he was already responding to “Kitty” so Kitty it stayed. Bernard also bought her the most loving family dog named Roxy. Wherever Betty was, Roxy was right there with her, never leaving her side.
Betty’s favorite place to be was at Ft. Smith, Montana on the Big Horn River. Betty loved nothing more than to fish with her husband and family. She often joked about how she didn’t know how to swim but you can bet she’d never take the chance of losing a fish, even if it meant walking out into the water. Betty struggled with health issues the last few years of her life but never let that stop her from spending time on the Big Horn. After a day of fishing, you would find Betty in the kitchen making the best beer battered fish in the world, always served with rice, pork and beans, and fresh watermelon.
Although Betty is no longer with us, anytime we see a fish jump in the Big Horn River, smell black licorice cough drops, take a bite of a bright red tomato, or hear Patsy Cline, we will remember the beautiful mother and grandmother she was. We love you more than all the fish in the Big Horn River and all the bright red tomatoes in the garden. Your love and memories will continue to live on forever. In wild blue yonder, you are happily together again.
Betty is survived by her five children; Rosella, Sherrie, Helen, Bernard Jr., and Linda. She is also survived by generations of grandchildren, many nieces, nephews, hundreds of cousins and friends. She is also survived by her brothers Kenny and Bob, and sister Judy. She is preceded in death by her loving husband Bernard, grandparents, parents and siblings. Our family would also like to give a special thanks to Sarah for the wonderful care she provided Betty and being a good friend to her at the end of her life.
A celebration for Betty and Bernard will be planned in the future at a later date.