Nov. 17, 1929 — Feb. 12, 2014
Betsy LaNoue went on her final adventure Feb. 12, 2014, leaving this Earth peacefully while surrounded by family in her home. She was 84 years young.
Betsy was born to Thomas Warren Hamilton and Elizabeth Irion Lawrie on Nov. 17, 1929. She grew up in Chicago, Illinois during the Great Depression and spent a significant amount of time as a young girl working in the office of her father’s business “Spot Nails,” which was the predecessor of today’s nail gun. She left Chicago for Appleton, Wis., to attend Lawrence College, where she majored in Psychology. Upon graduation, Betsy headed out west to San Francisco in 1947, her Singer Sewing Machine in hand, and moved into a boarding house on Fell Street where she met her future husband Robert LaNoue. They were married Oct. 4, 1954, and had three children under the age of 5 before they moved to Davis in 1965.
Betsy worked for a CPA in town and the City of Davis Finance Department before opening up her own business as an Enrolled Agent. She successfully operated her business in downtown Davis for 30 years. Betsy could be found walking around downtown on her errands daily. During her time in downtown Davis, Betsy became known as an active member of the community. Far exceeding just tax law, her wealth of knowledge made her a trusted advisor for so many who were lucky enough to know her.
Betsy used Davis as a base for her extensive travels including Canada, New Zealand and to all 50 States. She was an enthusiastic traveler with an adventurous spirit. Biking, hiking, camping and rafting were just a few of her favorites. She was also an active grandmother, taking all of her grandchildren on various “educational” trips over the years, always stating that if she took them while they were young they would take her when she was older. This worked out quite well for her, and in the last year alone, her adventures with grandchildren took her to baseball Spring Training in Arizona, British Columbia and New Zealand. She was a strong supporter of national parks and also managed to visit most of them in her lifetime.
The arts played an important role in her life from attending theater to listening to public radio to going to the weekly movies. She especially followed Robert Redford and his career over the years. She enjoyed the local theater, attending and enjoying many of the productions. She served as Secretary of the League of Women Voters and was a devoted book mender for Friends of the Davis Public Library. An avid Scrabble player as well, she always looked forward to her weekly game.
She was an older sister to Thomas Warren Hamilton II and Lawrie Hamilton. She leaves behind two daughters, Robin Cole (Eric) and Kathy Manger (Wayne). Her son David LaNoue died in 1985. She also leaves behind seven grandchildren whose lives she delighted in being a part of: Jennifer Walker, Stefanie Walker, Kristy Reidelbach (Danny), Erika Cole, Crystal Jurgensen (Jason), David Manger and Tiffany Manger. One granddaughter, Lindsay Walker preceded her in death. She also leaves behind six great-grandchildren.
Services will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at Putah Creek Lodge on Putah Creek Drive in Davis. Donations in her honor can be made to the national parks or your local public radio station.