Thursday, December 14, 2023
11:00 AM EST
Friday, January 5, 2024
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM EST
Brooklyns at Ball Arena
901 Auraria Pkwy
Denver, CO 80204
Life Story / Obituary
Outgoing, fun-loving, and vibrant, Betty Lou Patten lived a life rich in family and friends. Betty loved people and made friends easily. From neighbors, to a passerby in a parking lot, to the mail lady, to the home grocery shopper, to her hair stylist and many others she would meet, everyone was welcome in her heart. She had a radiating brightness that brought out the best in others. Betty loved big, even when life was hard. She was a hard worker who possessed unwavering integrity and exceptional kindness. Whether in relation to her family, work, friends, or community, Betty gave her all to ensure everyone was well cared for and knew they were loved. Her adorable, indomitable spirit inspired all who were blessed to know her to live wholehearted lives. A devoted mother, grandmother, and friend, Betty will long be remembered and ever so missed.
Despite the obvious gloom of the Great Depression, the power of hope undulated in the hearts of many. With a natural drive to not just endure but thrive in the face of uncertainty, the nation continued to put one foot in front of the other to build a better future. Nowhere was there more hope for the future than in the home of Walter and Marjorie (McGuire) Ruark as they welcomed their daughter Betty on January 19, 1933, in Denver, Colorado.
Before her birth, Betty’s parents and uncle Vic moved from Idaho before calling Colorado their home. Along with her younger sister Patricia, Betty grew up in Barnum, a neighborhood in Denver. Growing up during the Depression, Betty’s early years became the firm foundation upon which she built the rest of her life. Getting by with little, she learned to be resourceful and persevering while also preserving her delightful spirit. She shared a room with bunk beds with her sister, and being eight years older, she helped raise Patricia. Betty fondly recalled taking her sister on the streetcar downtown to get soup at the soup counter at Woolworth’s, Denver’s largest dime store. Their parents owned a bakery, and her mother was the first female newspaper carrier in Denver, riding on horseback and instilling that same feisty and independent spirit in Betty. Her mother worked often, and Betty never failed to lend a helping hand at home and at the bakery when she could. She was a good kid who loved ice skating, sledding, skiing, rollerskating, playing with dolls and paper dolls, and playing tag with friends. Betty attended Eagleston Elementary and West High School. Her favorite subjects were English and Home Economics.
After school, Betty started working as a switchboard operator for the telephone company and then for a large aerospace company. In time, she settled into longtime employment for Burlington Northern Railroad, working there for 35 years before retiring. Over her long career, she worked a variety of jobs, which were often determined by seniority. That led to job switching many times, bumping to new roles – some of which she liked and others she couldn’t wait to change out of. Regardless of whether she liked the job or not, she always gave her best and was well-known for her dependability.
While in high school, she met Edward “Daddy Bob” Miller. After dating for a time, they married and had two children together. Though the marriage didn’t last, after separating, she and Daddy Bob became the best of friends and enjoyed spending time together. Betty would marry again for a short time to Jess Patten, and they would welcome two more children.
Betty was a great mom who sacrificed for her children. As she didn’t want them growing up in the city, she bought five acres and built a home in Foxfield in 1969. There was plenty of land, and she made sure the kids had the freedom to explore it. They also enjoyed the variety of animals she kept, including horses, peacocks, goats, dogs, cats, and a calf. Betty was always busy. Between working, caring for her kids, and tending to the animals and her home, it was always a little hectic around the household, but Betty made every effort to be there for the kids. Even when it meant working the third shift and sleeping once the older kids were home from school to watch the younger ones, providing for her children was always Betty’s priority.
She was a phenomenal cook. Her fried chicken was unrivaled. Her chocolate cake, peanut butter fingers, and homemade chocolate cream pie were instant favorites that never lasted long after she made them. She once made her famous orange Jello salad and topped it with cheese by mistake, which shocked everyone who ate it but gave them a memory to laugh about and cherish for years to follow. Though she didn’t have a lot of spare time, she did enjoy making candles and once tried to make chokecherry wine. On weekends she could be found dancing away at Ollie’s Roundup. Betty, her mother, and Daddy Bob also loved going gambling in Central City.
Once grandchildren arrived, Betty was there to watch them, especially during the summer months. She formed a special relationship with each of them. Her home became a short-order restaurant as she delighted in making each of their favorite foods. She held onto her childhood roots and hated throwing things away because perhaps they might be needed later.
About eight years ago, Betty moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. As she got older, she eventually couldn’t drive, but she never lost hope that she would soon be behind the wheel again. Despite that loss of freedom and independence, she had made many friends who kept her company.
As we celebrate Betty’s wonderful life, may we find much comfort in our many treasured memories of the beautiful woman we were so lucky to know. May we also find comfort in carrying Betty’s legacy of love, friendship, and fun forward. In each moment we choose hope over fear, greet the day with confidence, welcome a stranger with a smile, cheer on our loved ones’ endeavors, and enjoy a home-cooked meal with those we cherish, we keep Betty’s joyful spirit alive and inspiring others as she so inspired us.
Betty Lou Patten, age 90, of Belmont and formerly of Foxfield, Colorado, passed away in Grand Rapids on November 28, 2023. Betty is survived by her children, Tim Miller, Kathy (Jim) Brown, Mike (Ashley) Patten, Pat Patten, Tonia Patten; 13 grandchildren Justin (Vanessa) Mullen, Jake (Krissy) Miller, Dylan (Jaimie) Brown, Carli (Michael) Gallegos, Cody (Samantha) Patten, Carson Patten, Connor Patten, Elizabeth Patten, Maxwell Patten, Sawyer Patten, Dalton Patten, Dakota Patten, Maverick Patten; and great-grandchildren; sister, Patricia Kidwell; and many friends. Betty was preceded in death by her mother, Marjorie (McGuire) Davidson, father, Walter Ruark, uncle, Victor Bryan, grandson, Jordan Brown, and by her longtime friend, Edward “Daddy Bob” Miller.
Betty's family will receive friends to share stories and memories on Friday, January 5, 2024 from 1-4 PM at Brooklyn's in Denver.