LAST DAY  – Blatchley Middle School eighth-graders sit on the bleachers with family and friends sitting around them Thursday during the annual Rights of Passage ceremony at the school. Students gave speeches and received certificates from principal Ben White during the program which marks the students' transition to high school. Thursday was the last day of school in the district.  (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Betty Carrol Jensen

Betty Carrol Jensen – known as Bowling Grandma to many – passed away Sept. 14, 2013, from complications of a stroke, at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Wash. She was 85.
At Betty’s request no services will be held. “She wanted the family to come together and just enjoy each other’s company and all the memories,” her family said.  The family went bowling in her honor Sept. 15.
Betty was born in Modesto, Calif.,  on July 18, 1928, the daughter of  Wavia and Clarence Rogers. Her family lived in numerous logging camps in Oregon and Idaho when she was growing up.
She loved dancing ballet and tap, sang in an a cappella group and participated in the Rose Festival parade in Portland, Ore.  She then moved to California with her mother and stepfather who was in the U.S. Navy and worked as a secretary for an inspector on a submarine in Vallejo, before moving to San Mateo, Calif.
Betty married her soulmate and the love of her life Arthur Jensen on her 18th birthday in 1947 – they celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary this year.  They had met at a dance hall and it was love at first sight.  Their first date was the next day at a bowling alley, 12 hours later he proposed, they married two weeks later and the rest is history. Their love withstood the test of time and together they set an example of unconditional love for their daughters and their families. 
In 1968 the family moved from San Mateo to Anchorage, where she lived for the next 15 years. Betty was an adventurer driving from California up the Alcan Highway solo with her four girls, pulling a 17-foot boat.
Betty loved being a homemaker, enjoying baking and planning meals for upcoming holidays and events. She was also an interior designer/bookkeeper/realtor for her husband, who was a custom home builder.  She would decorate these beautiful homes and then sell them.
“As a kid I would remember her having clients come to our home for an appointment and the next thing you know we were moving, as she had sold them our house” said her daughter Donna.
Betty was an “Alaskan Girl,” as she described herself, and always had a story of adventure to tell. One favorite was of “downing a moose with a single shot, from a Colt .357 pistol.”
Betty loved the outdoors and enjoyed fishing in Seward on their boat Afternoon Delight, shrimping off the Homer spit, clam digging on the Kenai Peninsula, snowmobiling all over Alaska. But her favorite was hunting at Gunsight Mountain. Betty loved to travel, with Hawaii being her favorite destination. She loved taking vacations with family and jumped at any chance to travel. 
While in Anchorage Betty found another passion in bowling.  She began bowling in a league with the family and soon became a part of the local WIBC and YABA, holding many offices over the years. She also created the first disabled bowling program at Park Lanes.   She traveled to many adult and youth tournaments all over Alaska. She would also compete at the National Bowling Tournament in Reno, Nev.
She loved bowling so much that in 1983 the family sold everything they owned and moved to Sitka to open the family owned Sitka Bowling Center.
Betty was the mom/grandma of bowling in Sitka.  She fell in love with Sitka and with everyone she met.  Her favorite part of bowling was traveling with the kids and chaperoning on state bowling trips every year.
In 1985 the family opened Lane 7 and she turned into the grill master.  “I remember my mom and I working in the restaurant and her going missing in the kitchen.  I would come around the corner and there she was with a tourist – telling them about all the amazing and wonderful things about Sitka. I used to call her Miss Sitka Chamber of Commerce” said daughter Donna.
Betty did many fund raising projects with her grandchildren, raising money for bowling, baseball, softball, cheerleading and football.
In 1995 Betty suffered a major stroke which made her wheelchair bound but that never stopped her.  Betty had a spirit, determination and a will for life that was amazing. She fought for life everyday for her grandchildren and family.  She had a gift of having people fall in love with her.
“I had the privilege of taking care of her for the last 18 years with my father,” Donna said. “She was so amazing that even in her times of struggle she was always more worried about others.  She never ceased to amaze me, she was the sweetest woman on earth.”
In March 2011 Betty moved with her daughter Donna, to Kent, Wash., but she left her heart in Sitka.  Betty loved the weather in Washington and always enjoyed shopping.
Betty is survived by her husband Art Jensen; daughters Nancy (Ed) Yarmak of Anchorage, Lynette (John) Grenberg of Sumner Wash., and Donna (Steve) Bezezekoff of Kent, Wash.; and son-in-law Bob Guest, Mayfield, Neb.
Grandchildren are  Robby (Lois) Guest, Denette Guest, Brian Yarmak, Craig (Meghan) Yarmak, Eric (Stephanie) Fairbanks,  Derek (Marissa) Fairbanks, Blake Fairbanks, Colton Fairbanks, RJ Grenberg, Anna (Josh) Massengill, William (Dee) LaMar, Damien LaMar, Fairicy (Fernando) del Cid, and adopted grandchildren Natalya Bezezekoff, Cliff Davis, Tarra Pointer and Kassie (JR) Meyers.
Great-grandchildren are  Adora and Kiyah Guest, AmberLee and BayLee  Dunham, Kristy Guest, Tillie Yarmak, Kale and Kai Fairbanks, Logan, Ashley and Austin Massengill, Carmen Fairbanks, Ryan Gamberg, Robby (Mary) Gamberg, Lane and Leigh LaMar, Harvey , Cheyenne and Sierra Jackson,  Cody and Preston Wilson,  Lena, Kylie and Corbin del Cid, Ariana Bezezekoff, Ben and Brandon Pointer, Javin and Jericho Meyers, and her great-great grandchild Addisen Guest.
She was preceded in death by her daughter Carrol Guest and brothers Lester, Harold and Elmer Rogers.
“Betty was the matriarch of the family – she was the glue that held us together.  Our family takes comfort in knowing she is not suffering anymore and is whole once again,” her family said. “We would also like to thank everyone for their love and support during this time with all the facebook posts, calls and visits from friends and family.  It has meant the world to us to be wrapped in loving arms during our family’s loss.
The family is creating a memory book.  Those who would like to contribute a story or picture may forward  them to Donna Bezezekoff 4318 S .263rd Street, Kent, WA 98032, or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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