Betty Motes

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - 16:15

Eagle River resident Betty A. Smith-Motes died on April 1, 2012 at her home surrounded by her family. She was 88.

She was born on July 10, 1923 in Gem, Idaho, and moved to Alaska on March 12, 1946 with her husband George D. Smith and their three small children — while pregnant with the fourth.

Betty was one of the very first ‘Five Star’ dealers of Tupperware in the early 1960s. She retired from the State of Alaska Health Department where she worked as a recorder and microfilmer for more than 25 years. She was involved with the Chugach Gem and Mineral club since the late 60s and served as “Pebble Patter Bulletin” editor for several years, for which she won an award and was inducted as a Charter Member to the Bulletin Editor’s Hall of Fame in Boise, Idaho in 1995. Betty was a member in the Lapidary Club and served as President several times. She also belonged to the Wood Carver’s Organization. She was known around Anchorage and other areas for her jewelry, carvings in soapstone and diamond willow, and won several blue ribbons for her work and displays in the Fur Rendezvous.

She was preceded in death by her two husbands, George Smith and James Motes; her parents; three brothers and a sister; and her daughter, LaVeta Christ. She is survived by her children, Nancy Danford, of Eagle River, Bill Smith and wife Kathy of Anchorage, Janice Lafferty of Akron, Ohio, and Carol Marzano of North Canton, Ohio; step-daughters Tanya (Chuck) Grubin of Anchorage, Sonya (Chet) Ross, of Whitney Island, Washington; 23 grandchildren, two step grandchildren, 49 great-grandchildren and two step-great-grandchildren and more than 10 great-great-grandchildren. She was loved and admired by her friends and family and will be sorely missed.

Memorial Services will be held on Saturday, April 14 at 3 p.m. at the Anchorage Center for Spiritual Living in Anchorage, located on the Old Seward Highway behind the Black Elk Leather shop. Arrangements by Janssen’s Evergreen Memorial Chapel; to view the online memorial and sign the guestbook visit

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