Bettye G. Gruber: Sept. 14, 1928 – Dec. 7, 2016

Bettye G. Gruber, of Berthoud, died Dec. 7, 2016, at the age of 88. Bettye was born Sept. 14, 1928, in Memphis, Tenn., and moved to Dyersburg, Tenn., at age 3, then to Colorado in 1957.

Following several years of debilitating arthritis and then a failing heart, Bettye passed peacefully in the early morning hours of Dec. 7 to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

She was born to Sam and Gladys (Jeter) Hodge in Memphis, Tenn. She had three brothers and one sister. They lived during the post-depression years surviving on chickens, hogs, red-eye gravy, canned vegetables, lots of love and singing. Her oldest brother Allen was a Navy chief during World War II and was on the seas around Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7. He was later captured by the Japanese in the Philippines, becoming a four-year prisoner of war. Allen was in Japan when the A-bomb was dropped two weeks before the order had gone out to kill all prisoners of war.

Bettye graduated from Dyersburg High School in 1946 and, with family, was active in the nearby Baptist church. She loved to sing and was a natural at harmonizing. She had an early marriage that produced two daughters, Enid and Julie, and traveled as a military family. Bettye worked at the Base Exchange in Long Beach, Calif., and attended Long Beach Community College, obtaining credits in bookkeeping, accounting and office management. The final military stop was at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver. She remained in Denver and became a single parent, self-supporting and was employed as office manager, bookkeeper and accountant at the exclusive women’s apparel shop, Miss Cates, in the Cherry Creek Shopping Center in Denver.

Enid and Julie graduated from East High School in Denver, and shortly thereafter were married. While working at Miss Cates, Bettye met, dated and became engaged to Karl Gruber, an Air Force (Wyoming Guard) pilot and a United Air Lines captain. They were subsequently married in Boulder on March 31, 1974, by Reverend Robert Oerter of the First Presbyterian Church of Boulder. From an empty nester, she suddenly became the mother of Karl’s six children, bringing order and sanity with her and blending two families.

Shortly before Karl’s retirement, they moved to southwest Weld County near Mead, purchasing an 80-acre hay farm where they resided for the past 33 years. She loved the solitude. She was a member of PEO and a past president. Bettye and Karl were members of the First Presbyterian Church of Berthoud. She was selfless, allowing Karl to do “his thing” which many times did not include her.

She leaves behind husband Karl, one sister, Laverne Yarbro, two sisters-in-law, Mabel Hodge and Retha Hodge, and a blended family of eight children, 12 grandchildren, and 26 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held at the First Presbyterian Church of Berthoud Saturday, Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. with Pastor Chris Brown presiding.

Contributions can be made to Front Range Hospice & Palliative Care, 3770 Puritan Way, Frederick, CO 80516.