Betty June Long, 92, joined her Heavenly family on May 19, 2023, at her home in Grover Beach. Her family was by her side. She was born the fourth daughter of Jacob and Lillian Edmondson on December 30,1930, in Taft, California.
The Edmondson family followed Jacob’s career to Avenal, California, where he worked in the oil fields of the Kettleman Hills. Betty attended Avenal Elementary School, overcoming obstacles such as Polio and Scarlett Fever, still earning the American Legion’s Award on graduating from 8th grade.
Betty was a dedicated student attending Avenal High School. She actively participated, even representing her school at Girls’ State. Betty encompassed honesty, loyalty, leadership, and scholarship. She graduated with many honors in 1949 as Valedictorian, writing and delivering her speech entitled “Honesty and Loyalty…Are They Old Fashioned?” She continued to stay in touch with friends from as far back as Kindergarten. Her friends and family meant the world to her.
During high school and after graduating, Betty worked at her favorite job, Standard Oil Kettleman West Dome. Around this time she met Donald Chevoya, through mutual friends. She liked his 1936 Ford. They married in 1950, and soon after he joined the Army. Don was a member of the First Cavalry Division, thus going overseas during the Korean War. Upon his return, Don and Betty began their family. Their children Suzanne, Diane, Lon, and Lori, we’re raised in San Luis Obispo County. Betty brought up her children in the First Presbyterian Church in Arroyo Grande, where she also was a Sunday school teacher. Her faith gave her strength, as can be seen in the ever-expanding thickness of her Bible.
In time, Betty found herself raising these four children on her own. In 1968 she began a 26 year career in banking. She knew everyone in the Five Cities area. Betty joined a Bunco group which she attended well into her late eighties. The support of friends helped her manage the ups and downs of being a single mother.
Betty met William Long through mutual friends. He loved dancing and she did too. They married in 1975. Soon after, she welcomed the first of eight grandchildren. Betty eventually would be juggling work, grandchildren, and caring for a husband with terminal needs. She kept her spirit and went to work everyday with a smile. She remained active in family occasions, Bunco, her church group, manning the voting polls, giving blood regularly, and joining her Red Hat ladies’ group. She wore many hats.
When Betty retired she found herself with time to enjoy her favorite indulgence, going on cruises to Hawaii, Alaska, Costa Rica, Mexico, and the northeast. She often traveled with her brother Ronnie, and sisters, Irene and Ruby Jean, and on several occasions with her children and grandchildren. Betty loved the shows, a great buffet, and fun casinos.
At age 85 years old, on a typical December afternoon, she was preparing to meet the Chumash Casino bus for her monthly trip. Her plans changed in an instance when she and her neighbor, Dave Fear, were savagely attacked and mauled by a retired K-9 in the yards of their Grover Beach homes. David was killed, and Betty’s life moved into a stage of pain, immobility, confusion, and dependency. She endured multiple surgeries, court appearances, and strokes, requiring 24/7 care, all of which engulfed her last years. Betty’s life never returned to the active one she had known. She was so strong and such an inspiration to friends and family, and even outlived a bout with COVID at age 90. She planned to lived to 100 years.
Ultimately on May, 19, 2023, Betty passed, leaving her three daughters, Suzanne McClain (Neil), Diane McKenna (Pat), Lori Chevoya, eight grandchildren, and eleven great grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister Ruby Jean Howell and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her son, Lon Chevoya, and husbands Donald and William. As well as her parents, brother Ronnie, and sisters Virginia and Irene.
A viewing will be held at Marshall-Spoo Funeral Home on Saturday, June 3, 12:00-2:00, with services following. You are also invited to join the family for a potluck on Sunday, June 4, between 1:00-4:00, at the home of Neil and Suzanne. 560 Oak Lane, Paso Robles. We will share memories and memorabilia of our Mom’s long life.
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