Long time Oak Harbor resident, Betty Jeane Haines passed away at Island Hospital in Anacortes, Washington, on Saturday, January 28, 2017. She was 99 years of age.
Betty was born Dec. 21, 1917, in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Ernest and Edna (Loftus) Ullrey. Her mother died shortly after Betty’s birth and she was sent to live with her paternal grandparents. She attended Brookside #54 Grade School and the largest high school in the U.S.; Arsenal Technical High School, an 80 acre, 15 building school. Several of the buildings were barracks, arsenals and guard houses dating from the Civil War period and then converted to classrooms. She graduated in 1935 with a class of 1,010 students.
After graduation, she attended Indiana Business College which led to a position as a private secretary for 12 years, working for a manager of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.
Betty moved to Oak Harbor, Washington, in 1948 with her husband, Kenneth E. Lowman, a Navy man who was stationed at NAS Whidbey. She met him through his sister who had lived next door to Betty’s grandmother. They divorced 12 years later.
In August 1961, Betty married William (Bill) Haines and made their family home in Cornet Bay. They managed Haines Chevron (where Beeksma Park is now located) until Bill suffered a massive stroke in 1971. Betty became his caregiver for the next 17 years until his passing in July of 1988.
Betty was referred to as the “Energized Bunny” and will always be remembered for her happy, infectious smile. She joined Whidbey Walkers in 1972 and enjoyed their activities until 1994, when steep hills made breathing difficult. Her other joys were traveling, reading, helping others and sewing. She made all her own clothing from high school until Bill’s illness. She was a member of Church on the Rock, the Oak Leaf Rebekah Lodge #254, Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society, Mt. Baker Theatre Organ Society, AARP, the Oak Harbor Senior Center and Arsenal Technical High School Alumni Society.
On Jan. 5, 2010, after several falls, Betty was admitted to Island Hospital where she was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, which caused her to be paralyzed from the waist down. Soon after, she moved into the Fidalgo Care Center in Anacortes where she resided until her death. Betty described Fidalgo as a wonderful place with great food! The staff described her as Ms. Sunshine, with a wonderful attitude and a happy smile that would cheer the other residents.
Betty is survived by her cousin, Nancy Witte of Cincinnati, Ohio; step-daughter-in-law, Donna (Haines) Strehle of Oak Harbor; grandchildren, Rhonda Haines (Bob) Severns of Oak Harbor, Bryan Haines of Anacortes and Marci Haines Norton of Anacortes. Seven great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren also survive.
Cremation was held with burial to follow in Columbus, Indiana. Remembrances may be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation or your favorite charity. A Celebration of Life will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 at Wallin Funeral Home with Gary Wallin as Life Celebrant. A reception will follow.
Arrangements were entrusted to Wallin Funeral Home, Oak Harbor, Washington. To share memories or leave condolences, please visit Betty’s Book of Memories page on the funeral home website at www.wallinfuneralhome.com.