Aug. 26, 1928 – June 19, 2012
Betty Packenham of Davis died Tuesday, June 19, 2012, at her home in Davis. She was 83.
Betty was born on Aug. 26, 1928 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, to Anne and Arthur Brockbank. Betty has a sister Shirley and three brothers, Doug, Don and Rick. When she was a young girl, her family immigrated to the United States and settled in Southern California. In her 20s, she worked at Kaiser, where she met her husband Arthur Packenham. They married on April 24, 1954, in Ontario, Calif.
Betty and Art had three rambunctious sons — Robert, Michael and Steven, all of whom now live in California. In 1960, the family moved to Walnut Creek, where the couple became very active in the Unitarian Church of Walnut Creek. In 1968, the family moved to Davis, and bought their present home in 1972.
A talented and dedicated gardener, Betty and her husband Art transformed the large, unplanted yard of their newly built home into a lush, flower-filled landscape where Betty enjoyed hosting many gatherings, particularly the well-remembered Fourth of July neighborhood parties that she gave with her friend and neighbor Eva Anderson. Betty was proud to have become a naturalized citizen of the United States as a young woman and she much enjoyed celebrating her country’s national holiday.
Betty loved swimming, bicycling and camping with her family and their friends at Yosemite and in the Sierra. She loved beauty in all forms — in nature, in her beautiful garden and in art. She developed a fine talent for painting through taking art classes, first in Walnut Creek and later at the Davis Art Center. Betty’s love of flowers drew her to working in watercolors. She felt that the freshness and translucent qualities of watercolors best captured the beauty of her floral subjects. Her paintings and painted note cards were given as cherished gifts to many of her friends and sold in art showcases in Davis and Napa. She was always devoted to bringing art activities into her children’s lives and she assisted as a teacher’s aide in elementary school art classes in both Walnut Creek and Davis. For many years, she volunteered as a docent at the Pence Gallery in Davis.
Betty treasured above all her beloved husband, her sons, their spouses and her grandchildren Isabelle, Hugo and Jake. Her greatest joy was to be surrounded by her family at Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, Mother’s Day and many other events. Betty’s love and grace, expressed in so many ways, brought great joy and happiness to her family and her many friends. She lived with courage and wonderful positivity in the face of a lifelong respiratory illness.
A Celebration of Life Memorial will be held on Saturday, July 14, at 1 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis in the sanctuary, followed by a gathering in the Social Hall. The address is 27074 Patwin Road, Davis, CA, 95616; phone (530) 753-2581.
Betty’s family requests that any donations made in memory of her life be directed to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis and Yolo Hospice in Davis.