October 20, 2021




NORTHPORT – Betty Louise Betker, 98, of Northport, passed away on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at Orchard Creek Assisted Living.

Betty was born on January 16, 1923, the daughter of Henry and Lena (Johnson) Thompson. On August 24, 1944 in Alma, MI, she married George William Betker Jr. who preceded her in death on April 11, 2017.

Betty was born and raised on the Cloverleaf Farm in Sumner, MI. She attended Michigan State University, graduating with a degree in Elementary Education. Betty met George at MSU, and they were married following graduation. George immediately entered the US Navy as a lieutenant. George and Betty spent two years in various locations, living where George was stationed. Following his naval service, George and Betty located to Royal Oak.

Betty was a first-grade teacher at Longfellow Elementary School in Royal Oak for over 25 years. Following their retirement Betty and George built “Betker’s Bayview” on Grand Traverse Bay in Northport. They purchased a condo in Vero Beach, Florida, and spent 35 years enjoying the natural beauty and wonderful friends of both communities.

Betty was an active volunteer her entire life. She joined the Delta Zeta sorority at MSU and spent ten years as an advisor, traveling to chapters at many Michigan universities. Church was always a big part of Betty’s life as she enjoyed membership at Ferndale United, Lakewood Park United (Fort Pierce, FL) and the Leland Community United Methodist churches. She was very active in each church community giving her time to a variety of causes. Betty served as a volunteer at the Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital (Vero Beach) and the former Leelanau Memorial Hospital (Northport).

Betty enjoyed attending her grandchildren’s many school events and was lovingly referred to as grandma by all of her grandchildren’s friends. She enjoyed watching sports on TV, especially her beloved Spartans and Tigers. She loved reading and caring for her homes and family.

Betty was a very positive, caring, warm, and giving person. She took time to be friendly and compassionate to all.

Betty is survived by her daughter, Carol Lee (Jeff) Smith; her grandchildren, Ryan Betker Smith and Heather (Nick Ostroski) Smith; and great-grandchildren, Nehv and Vivian Ostroski.

In addition to her husband, Betty was preceded in death by parents; her brother, Robert Thompson; and sister, Emma Lee Rayburn.

Private family services have been held.

The family would like to thank the staff at Orchard Creek Assisted Living and Hospice of Michigan for their compassionate care.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Five Loaves, Two Fish – a community outreach food program at the Leland Community United Methodist Church. 80-90 meals are prepared weekly and delivered to predominately homeless population in Traverse City and individual families in Leelanau County. Donations may be mailed to the Leland Community United Methodist Church (memo 5Loaves2Fish), P.O. Box 602, Leland, MI, 49654 or via the donation link on the church website.

Please share condolences with Betty’s family at www.martinson.info.

Arrangements are with the Martinson Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Leelanau.

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