Elizabeth Colleen ‘Betty’ Reynolds Lahren

Wednesday, July 7, 2021
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Elizabeth Colleen “Betty” Reynolds Lahren was born on Sept. 26, 1927 to William and Winifred Reynolds on her grandfather’s farm, east of Cambridge, Oregon. 

She reminisced about walking to grade school down a dirt road every day. She was a bright student and was a year ahead in school. At 12 years old the family entrusted Betty to drive the tractor in the family fields. This farm included pigs, cows, horses, chickens, cats, dogs, an orchard, and a full garden. They grew wheat, oats and flax. It was an idyllic childhood in many ways. She, along with other kids her age, signed on to be Air Raid Wardens during war time. Betty was the country mouse kid, rather shy and reserved in a city mouse school. She joined the drama club and school plays to break out of her shyness. It was there she met more kids her own age. She loved it. During the summers she would travel to Portland and stay with her Aunt Alene who introduced Betty to antiques stores, her lifelong passion. 

Under her mother’s encouragement, Betty pursued a nursing career. She was in the last class of the United States Cadet Nursing Program, which she completed in 1948. 

Betty and Alvin met in 1948. Together in 1949 they moved to Livingston. She worked at the Lott hospital until her children were born. She was also employed by the local dentist, Dr. Cloyd. She was the new administer of the groundbreaking drug, nitrous oxide. 

Their son Rodney was born in 1954, and daughter Jennifer was born in 1956. The next years were filled with raising her children and sewing beautiful clothes. She was very active in the local PTA. After the children fledged, Betty went back to work at the hospital. In the 1970s, Betty became the county school nurse. She was the only school nurse from Wilsall to Gardiner. That was a lot of kids to care for! 

In 1986 Betty and her daughter Jennifer started the local antique store, Grandma’s Treasures. That business remained on Main Street until 2013 when it was purchased and became Out Of The Blue and later Betty’s Bottle Shop was added. She was a proud board member of the Livingston Business Improvement District, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and a huge supporter of the Shane Center for the Arts, and The Stafford Animal Shelter. 

Betty would tell you her favorite memories were of square dancing with Alvin, camping at Lookout Park with Jennifer and the Girl Scouts, and all of the family gatherings over the years. She and Alvin had two wonderful vacations, once they went to the French Polynesian Islands and another time they went to Mexico. 

She was over the moon when asked to be the Grand Marshall of the Livingston Roundup Parade in 2014. 

Many people thought Betty was tough as nails. Those who took the time to really know her found her sweet, charming, and loved her mischievous sense of humor. 

She passed peacefully at home on July 1, 2021, surrounded by love. 

Her survivors include her children, Rodney Harold Lahren and Jennifer Alene Lahren; her cat Mittens, and a network of loving friends that she asked to be to acknowledged: her loving nephew, Busty Lahren and his partner, Colleen, Kelly and Stephanie Kulbeck, Kathryn Bornemann, Annie Craig, Jolene Jerde, Steve Woodruff, and Elichi and Amber Fowler. 

At her request there will be no services. If compelled, she suggested donations be made to the Stafford Animal Shelter in her name.

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