Elizabeth (Betty) Alberta Kenney Smith passed away peacefully on October 8, 2022, surrounded by her loving family. She was 98, and had enjoyed a full and interesting life.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Betty went to Stanford University and graduated to become a physical therapist. During her freshman year, she met her husband, Donald L. Smith. After Don returned from World War II, they were married on November 16, 1945. When Don finished his degree, they moved to Turlock. Don joined his father, Charles L. Smith, in the family business, Smith Chevrolet, and Betty and Don began a family. Don passed away in April 2018 after more than 72 years of marriage.
Betty has been a loving and generous mother of four. She was an active member of First Presbyterian Church of Turlock, where she was passionately involved in women’s groups and the annual bake sales. She loved Tuesday Reading Club, for which she enjoyed taking her turn at preparing meeting teas, especially May Tea. Not surprisingly, culinary arts were her favorite avocation. Additionally, Betty was an enthusiastic bridge player, belonging to two clubs. She also loved to play mahjong with family and other enthusiasts. She was extremely fond of her friends in all of her activities.
Betty and Don were fortunate to travel extensively nationally and internationally with Chevrolet, or pursuing Don’s interest in big game hunting, or visiting family members. Betty’s favorite destinations were Maui and Hong Kong.
Betty always loved learning, making special studies of subjects as diverse as spirituality and jade, and most recently of Japanese and Chinese cultures and politics at the cusp of WWII. This diversity was reflected in her favorite magazines: Majesty Magazine, Tea Time, and The Economist.
Betty is survived by her children, Kathy Santorini, Marcia (Jim) Gordon, Lee (Carlene) Smith, and Larry (Candy) Smith, and by seven grandchildren: Marie Clarke, Ed “Dobby” (Carrie) Clarke, Kristi (Serge) Cuarenta, Erin (Gabe) Cuarenta, Laurel Gordon, Jeff (Sherry) Gordon, and Gretchen Gordon. She has ten great grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Zelda McCarthy. She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald L. Smith; her brother Earl Kenney, Jr; her sister Dolores Manhart; her mother Esther Weible Kenney Murdock; and her father, Earl Kenney.
Betty’s family wishes to thank the many members of our community and First Presbyterian Church for their generous support and kindness.
The family is very grateful for the wonderful, loving care provided Betty and all of the family by her housekeeper of over six years and her caregivers of more than two years. We are also very grateful to Covenant Care Hospice for their excellent, consoling and professional services.
Betty’s visitation will be on Thursday, November 10, 2022, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Turlock Memorial Park and Funeral Home, 425 North Soderquist Road, Turlock. Her memorial service will be on Saturday, November 12, at 11:30 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 2619 North Berkeley Avenue, Turlock, to be followed by luncheon. The private burial will precede the memorial service.
Betty’s family hopes all friends will be able to attend the church service in person and share stories at lunch, but if that is impossible, one may watch the service live or access it later online at fpturlock.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to First Presbyterian Church, Turlock.