Betty Dennis Lepp, age 92, passed away Thursday July 12 at Regency on Whidbey Memory Care in Oak Harbor. She was a beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, friend, neighbor and caregiver.
Betty Dennis was born in Alberta Canada in 1926. She was “chosen” as her grandmother told her, by Floyd and Alma Dennis, to become part of their family when she was still an infant. Betty lived throughout western Canada during her childhood.
After high school, she was accepted into the Saint Paul’s Nursing program in Vancouver. Betty, feisty, beautiful and fun, had her share of adventures along the way to graduation. She eventually realized nursing was her true passion, buckled down, and remained dedicated to nursing throughout her life. In her professional role as an RN she worked in the maternity ward and surgery before being hired by Canadian Pacific Airlines.
When the Korean War started she volunteered to serve with the United Nations. She was assigned as a flight nurse on airlifts taking soldiers into Korea to their duty stations and then care for the wounded on the return flights to Canada.
Betty married and started her family in Vancouver after her time with the UN. It was there that her first son Dennis Curran was born.
After marrying her second husband, Pamela, William and Susan arrived, and the Martenson family lived in Spokane. She picked up her nurses cap again working at a local hospital and also began a career as a fashion model. Betty had a knack for conversation and was given the opportunity to enter into the entertainment business in the early 1960s. She quickly became a television personality hosting her own morning program called Telescope on KREM. Betty Dennis interviewed high profile celebrities and political leaders such as Richard Nixon, Robert Kennedy and Tom Foley.
In the late 60s, Betty met and married the love of her life, Kenneth Lepp. Ken was a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel and VP of a French aerospace company. The family made a move across the country to Washington D.C. Difficult at the time, but it proved wonderfully beneficial for each of her children. Ken was promoted and offered a position in Paris, France, and Betty embraced the chance for excitement and adventure. The couple eventually settled in the south of France and built a home close to Pyrenees Mountains in the Basque region. Ah, the good life! Wine and cheese!
Ken and Betty came back to the states and lived in Kirkland, Wash. after 10 years in France. Following Ken’s death, Betty returned to work as an RN and started her own small business selling medical equipment for nursing home residents. She had a team of nurses working for her throughout the Pacific Northwest. Her successful company was sold in 1998 and Betty retired to a life full of family, friends, jazz festivals, cruises and of course – wine and cheese!
Dennis Curran, Bothell, Wash., Pamela Harlin, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., William Martenson, Edmonds, Wash., and Susan Ross, Oak Harbor — Betty’s children — blessed her with nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren who affectionately call her “Maga.” It is undeniable that Betty had a lasting impact on everyone she met. She remained feisty, beautiful and fun.
Throughout these years, Betty forged unbreakable bonds with people from all over the world, even other planets, and has created the greatest family ever!
A celebratory “Picnic in the Park” will be held from 12 noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at Marina Park Pavilion in Kirkland, Wash., following a private burial in the Kirkland Cemetery.
Please visit Wallin Funeral Home online guest book to leave a message or share a memory (www.wallinfuneralhome.com).
Memorial donations in memory of Betty can be made to Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation, WAIF, P.O. Box 1108, Coupeville, WA 98239 or online at www.waifanimals.org
If you are unable to join us in Kirkland, “Not to worry, mes amis (my friends), please enjoy a picnic wherever you may be … Bon Appetit!”