Isabelle Betty Beltz
November 1, 1927 - September 29, 2022
We called her our Timex mom. Takes a licking and keeps on ticking. She ticked along for almost 95 years
here on earth and is now ticking away in heaven.
Isabella Bishop was born November 1, 1927 to Helen June Bishop and Harland Thanniel Bishop at the
home of her maternal grandparents, Marie and Gottfried Beier in Odessa, WA. At three months her
parents, Isabelle, brother Bob and sister Lenore moved to Spokane and bought a home on Cedar Street.
The next few years brought younger sisters Cynthia, Doris and Irene.
When Isabelle was 5 a big life challenge came as she played with matches and caught her dress on fire.
Her mother Helen, who had been born deaf, was not able to hear her cries but younger sister Cynthia, age
3 alerted their mother who was able to extinguish the flames. The doctors wanted to amputate her left leg
but her father Harland, who was also deaf, would not allow it. Mom spent the next 9 months in the
hospital healing with skin grafts from her uninjured leg and carried those scars the rest of her life.
When Isabelle was 8, Helen became a single parent for her family of 6. Mom shared many stories of how
hard her mother, a woman of faith, worked to raise her family on her own and the love that she had for
them. When mom was old enough she worked at many jobs to help the family too. Among her many jobs
were sorting laundry at a cleaners, popcorn and macaroni factory work, movie usherette, sales girl at JC
Penney, butcher’s assistant and telephone operator. She graduated from North Central High School in
At age 19 mom went with friends to a dance at Natatorium Park in Spokane featuring Bob Wills and his
Texas Playboys. There she met a handsome Navy veteran, Ted Beltz. There must have been an instant
attraction between them as Ted came calling at her home the next day which was Sunday. Mom and dad
dated for the next 10 months and were married on February 10th, 1948 with their mothers, Helen Bishop
and Mildred Beltz, in attendance as witnesses. Mom remembered it as a beautiful sunny, snowy day.
In the fall of that year, sadness came as mom’s beloved brother Bob was killed in an auto accident. Joy
came the next summer when baby Karen arrived. Two years later came daughter Debra and another two
years later came daughter Connie. Finally five years later son Clifford was born. Shortly after that a long
time dream came true when mom and dad purchased a small farm outside of Spokane in 1959.
In 1960 mom was in a rollover accident with sister Irene and niece Roxanne. Mom’s neck was broken and
she spent the next few months in a cast covering her head and down to her hips. Her mother Helen came
and cared for everyone as mom recovered.
Mom has been described by Karen as June Cleaver in jeans. She followed the example of her mother and
worked hard each and every day raising her family with a lot of love and faith. She gardened and canned,
cooked and cleaned, read stories, danced, sang songs and along with dad took us to church every Sunday.
She made excellent homemade bread, the best pies and yummy roasts for Sunday dinner. She loved to
sew and made many of our school dresses, prom dresses, a wedding dress and many matching square
dancing outfits for herself and dad.
As we children started leaving home, mom and dad sold most of the farm land and dad built a new home
on another part of their property with assistance from son Cliff. The doors were always open with
welcome as we came for visits on vacation and holidays. It was during that time that mom was diagnosed
with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and dad with colon cancer. Mom went through chemotherapy and came
out the other side but with lasting effects on her body. Dad also went through chemotherapy and radiation
but his cancer returned.
When mom and dad knew that his time was short, they sold their house in the woods and mom requested
that they move to the west side of the mountains so that she would be close to us children. They bought a
home in Bellevue in 1987. The following year after dad had passed she spent the next 29 years there on
her own. She loved walking her corgi, Amigo all through the neighborhood, went line dancing, golfing
with church friends, quilting with a church group and took a wonderful trip to Germany.
Mom was always there for her children and grandchildren. When Debbie’s husband Paul died leaving her
a widow with two young daughters, Lael and Kara, mom was there to help as Debbie continued as a
single working mom. This formed a lifelong close bond with her granddaughters. Of course she also
loved her grandsons Peter, Kyle and Sean and was known for always bringing “grandma candy” when she
Just before mom’s 90th birthday in 2017 she fell and broke her neck again although she didn’t know it at
the time. It was the day of her family birthday party and she didn’t want anyone to fuss over her so she
came to her party and kept quiet. Two days later we took her to the emergency room with her eyes
swollen shut and the broken neck was discovered. She spent time in the hospital and rehab and several
weeks at Debbie’s house. She knew then it was time to give up her long time home in Bellevue and
moved into a senior apartment in Seattle.
The last five years of mom’s life were spent in two assisted living communities and finally her last two
months in an adult family care home. In 2020 she lost daughter Debbie to pancreatic cancer. She often
told us that this time of her life was the hardest thing she ever had to do but always enjoyed visiting with
her family and friends either in person or by phone and was thankful for all of her blessings. She passed
away on September 29, 2022 from complications of heart failure.
Mom was a woman of deep faith and knew that she was a forgiven and beloved Child of God and though
we are sad to lose her we rejoice that she is now healed and home in heaven with those she loved who
have gone on before.
Mom will be buried at Fairmount Memorial Park in Spokane in a joint grave with dad. She was preceded
in death by her husband, Milton Theodore (Ted) Beltz and daughter, Debra Ann Sokvitne. She is survived
by daughters Karen Mitchum (David, deceased), Connie Popp (Brian) and son Cliff Beltz (Linda) along
with five grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Remembrances made be made in her name to The American Cancer Society and Lutheran World Relief