Betty Sheedy, age 95, left this world peacefully on June 25, 2018, near John Day, Oregon, in the loving care of her daughter, Janet Robertson.
Betty Jane Steinhoff was born April 26, 1923 at her parents’ ranch in Washington Township (now Fremont), Alameda County, California, the third child of John Proctor Steinhoff and Eva McCrimmon. All of her great-grandparents were California pioneers. Betty took part in the 1949 centennial celebration of the discovery of gold at Coloma and sang with the Mother Singers for the California statehood centennial in 1950.
Betty’s father died when she was four, just months before the onset of the Great Depression. Betty and her mother would pit and dry apricots for 10-cents a tray in the orchards of the south Bay area, while her older brothers worked at the Wedgewood Stove factory in Newark, where her father had been a stove molder. In 1933, her mother rented out their house, and the family spent the summer camping near Downieville where they panned for gold in the Yuba River for grocery money to get them through the winter. Betty graduated from Washington Union High School in 1941 where she was active in the drama club and served as senior editor of the student newspaper.
Betty married Carl Sheedy on September 20, 1941, in Centerville, California. Their son Robin was born in 1942 in San Jose. Robin and Betty lived with her mother for two years while Carl was in the Army during World War II, and then for a short time in Grass Valley as he recovered from his injuries. In late 1945, the family moved to Placerville, California, where Carl’s uncle Forrest V. Phillips helped him become a real estate broker. Two more children were born there: David in 1946 and Janet in 1950.
Betty was active in civic organizations, was president of her PTA, and chaperoned many youth horse-back riding and camping trips into the Sierra Mountains. She took part in the centennial celebration for the 1849 discovery of gold at Coloma and performed with the Mother Singers for the California statehood centennial in 1950.
Betty and Carl were successful in their real estate business and in 1962 decided to retire to John Day, Oregon, where he had relatives. They purchased a couple ranches near John Day but periodically returned to Placerville to manage their real estate and a uranium mining project. They opened another real estate office in John Day, through which they brokered, bought, sold and developed numerous properties in Grant County.
As active members of the Christian Science Church, Carl and Betty donated the land and oversaw construction of the church building in John Day, where Betty served as organist and a reader. After the building was sold to the Redeemer Lutheran Church, Betty played the organ at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Canyon City for more than 20 years. Carl and Betty were active in politics and co-chaired the Grant County Republican Central Committee several times. Over the years, Betty sat on several county advisory boards, volunteered at the Grant County Historical Museum, and was involved in garden club and several card groups. They enjoyed traveling and would spend winters with Carl’s brother Gale and sister-in-law Cathy in their 5th-wheels.
Betty loved horses and gardening and was a devoted mother and grandmother.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Hugh and Alton Steinhoff, infant sister June, husband Carl Phillips Sheedy, son Robin Proctor Sheedy, and great-grandson Kevin Robert Sheedy. She is survived by her son, David Sheedy and his friend Lori Dillon of Cottonwood, Arizona, and Hanalei, Hawaii; daughter Janet (Bill) Robertson of John Day; nine grandchildren, Robert (Tammy) Sheedy, Sally (Richard) Greywolf, John (Sandra) Sheedy, Nickolas (Chelsea) Sheedy, Tyler Sheedy, Cassie (Ken) Beiler, Shaun (Colleen) Robertson, Eric Robertson, and Kimberly (Matt) Randleas; 21great-grandchildren and 5 great-great-grandchildren; former daughters-in-law Eileen Music of Durango, Colorado, and Heather Swank of John Day; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and many dear friends.
At Betty’s request, no memorial services will be held. Donations in her memory may be made to Driskill Memorial Chapel for reconstruction of the small animal barn at the Grant County Fairgrounds.
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