Julia Betts

Obituary of Julia Claire Betts

Julia Claire Betts (DeBoer), lover of puzzles, passed away on June 15, 2023, at Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland surrounded by family and friends. She was 80.

Julie was born in Maryland on January 15, 1943 to Ren Jr. and Velma (Lutz) DeBoer. Her family, which had been in the Denver area since the late 1880s moved back to Denver when she was 3, and she would stay in Colorado for most of her life. As her family had been in the Denver area for so long, she considered herself a proud Colorado native.

Julie attended Denver South High School and graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in teaching. She taught high school math briefly before moving to a career in bookkeeping. She worked for several different companies, eventually as the accountant for Alpine Cabinet Company. When she “retired” from Alpine after over 20 years, she continued to work part-time for several years. She thought of them as an extended family.

On January 1, 1977, Julie married the love of her life, James Betts at First Avenue Presbyterian Church in Denver. She brought along her 5-year-old daughter, Jennifer Reed, and the three created a loving, supportive, fun little family. They lived in Englewood, Arvada, Fort Collins, Loveland and finally in Johnstown for the last 23 years. She was active in her community, at the senior center in Johnstown doing yoga, and at the Milliken Presbyterian Church. She just liked being around people.

Jim and Julie (and Jen), the three Js, made some great memories. Julie loved to go out to eat, to enjoy half of a good whiskey sour, and to travel. The biggest adventure was a trip to Fiji, Australia and New Zealand. The story goes that Jim won the trip in a golf tournament. Julie would wait a beat before she mentioned that they drew names for the grand prize. Perhaps Julie’s favorite place was Hawaii, specifically Kauai. If possible, her ashes will enter the ocean there.

Julie loved numbers, and she loved a good puzzle. This led to her hobby in quilting (which she described as creative math), and to her fondness for sudoku. She created and gifted many quilts, and she loved picking out the colors and patterns, laying them out this way and that until it looked just right. She did the puzzles from The Denver Post every day, from the Johnstown Breeze on Thursdays, and she supplemented with many other books. She would want it mentioned that she did everything except crosswords. She just didn’t care for crosswords.

On Julie’s final day, she quietly asked for a pencil and a puzzle. She sat herself up in bed and napped off and on with a pencil in hand, just as she so often did at home.

The annual family trips to Creede, Colorado were times that Julie cherished. She had so much fun fishing during the day and playing cards at night. She also loved the times when she caught the biggest fish so she could tease the rest of the family who were “actually” fishermen. The trips in fall were the best because Julie really enjoyed the spectacular colors.

Julie leaves behind her loving husband and daughter; a sister Adele (Rich) Marks; the dearest of friends, Dorothy (Jerry) Kaiser; brother-in-law, Bill (Mary) Betts; sister-in-law, Alexis Betts; numerous nieces and nephews; and so many other family members and friends who will miss her dearly.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Revel (David) Matheke; and brother-in-law, Dee Betts.

As her time was approaching, Julie’s niece sent a message asking what color butterfly she would be. After a moment of thought she said, “I would have to say beige.” Beige? Okay. Beige it is. When you see a beige butterfly (moths count), please remember a woman who was deeply loving and fiercely loyal. Julie was bright and creative. She had a wonderful sense of humor and a laugh she couldn’t control. She is still very present and sends her love.

A service will be held July 15 at 11 a.m. at Milliken Presbyterian Church, 201 S. Olive St., Milliken, CO, 80543. Fellowship at the church will follow.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Julie’s name to the American Heart Association, https://www.heart.org/donate, or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, https://www.stjude.org/donate.


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Memorial Service

11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Saturday, July 15, 2023
Milliken Presbyterian Church
201 S. Olive
Milliken, Colorado, United States
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