Elizabeth Fuller Wilder
May 6, 2014
Elizabeth “Betty” Fuller Wilder passed away from complications of pancreatic cancer on Thursday, April 17, 2014, at the age of 91.
Born in Hood River, Ore., on July 17, 1922, to Charles and Lois (Coshow) Fuller, Betty was the youngest of four children with two sisters Frances and Harriet and a brother Bob. She attended elementary and high school in Hood River, and then began her studies at Oregon State University in Corvallis. She was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority, which became a lifelong affiliation.
Betty took a leave of absence during her senior year to help care for her brother Bob when he was diagnosed with cancer. In April of 1943, her sister Harriet died during childbirth. Betty moved to Eugene to help her brother-in-law Bill Smullin with her 10-year-old niece Shirley and newborn nephew David, creating a bond that lasts through today.
Returning to OSU to complete her studies, she graduated with a major in home economics and a minor in journalism. Thereafter, she moved to live with two cousins in Hollywood, Calif., and took a job with the Southern California Gas Co. in their “test kitchen” — teaching women how to use the new appliances of the day, testing recipes and teaching high school boys home economics. Betty loved teaching.
This resident was fortunate as she found herself with new neighbors — the Wilder family. Their son Ed was two years older and had recently returned from the war in England. They were very taken with each other and engaged by Christmas of 1947. They were married Dec. 11, 1948, at North Hollywood Methodist Church and settled into their new home in Westchester, Calif.
Their family started to grow — and moved to Rolling Hills/Palos Verdes, Calif. In 1966, the family relocated to Issaquah to follow Ed taking a job at Boeing. Once her three children grew to high school age, she took a job with the curriculum department of the Issaquah School District, remaining for several years. She and Ed traveled frequently, taking a number of trips to Europe that included cruising, hiking and even canal boating.
Betty was an active and proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, PEO and the Tri-Delta sorority. She was an avid bridge player and so much enjoyed the vibrant community life at Covenant Shores on Mercer Island since moving there in 2007, sadly just six weeks before Ed’s passing.
She leaves behind her loving family — son William (of Issaquah, wife Becky, daughters Stephanie and Samantha); Robert, deceased son, of Redwood City, Calif.; daughter Amy (of Sammamish, husband Mike Weisner, daughter Jennifer and son Eric “Moe”); nieces Kathryn Anne (of Oakland, Calif.), Barbara Ann “Bran” (of Virginia), Shirley (of Grants Pass, Ore.); nephew David (of Los Altos, Calif.), the surviving members of the Smullin family; and so many friends she had touched throughout her life.
A memorial service will be held at Bellevue Presbyterian Church on Friday, May 9, at 1 p.m. She will be interred at Tahoma National Cemetery alongside Ed.