Betty Rose Mead, 89, of Idaho Falls, passed away January 3, 2022, at Fairwinds-Sand Creek Retirement Community.
Betty, whose unmistakable laugh stood out to everyone that met her, was born May 22, 1932, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to Daniel Wesley Ball and Mary Ann Krieger Ball. She grew up and attended schools in Ammon, Lincoln, and Iona.
In her teens, Betty worked in the beet fields where she caught the eye of a dashing, slightly older fella, Robert William Mead. That beet field infatuation turned into a 57-year marriage and love story that started on the steps of a judge’s home on New Year’s Day 1950—right before their marriage license was about to expire.
Betty and Bob were blessed with three daughters who filled their home with love, laughter, and a healthy dose of mischief. Betty raised her girls in California and Idaho, and was heavily involved in school activities. She even served as PTA President. On top of school activities, Betty was often caught playing pranks on her girls and was always willing to join in on whatever fun they were up to.
Betty’s fun spirit, open heart, and generosity would only grow as she went on to embrace 11 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren. As “Big Grandma” she delighted her grandchildren with a full cookie jar, plenty of Nesquik chocolate (and strawberry) milk, dress-up clothes, coloring books, puzzles, and every manner of entertainment they could hope for.
St. John’s Lutheran Church became a second family for Betty, where she volunteered with the Lutheran Braille Workers and took plenty of turns passing out the weekly bulletins, among other things. It was always easy to spot Betty in her signature hats and scarves, along with fun jewelry and pins that she loved to show off to her church friends.
She is survived by her daughter, Kathleen (Craig) Bischke of Idaho Falls, ID; daughter, Lennie (Bob) Hunt of Twin Falls, ID; brother, Donald Jay Ball of Idaho Falls, ID; and her slew of grandchildren (great and double great, too!).
Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Daniel and Mary Ann Ball; husband, Robert William Mead, Jr.; brother, Clarence Ball; daughter, Debora Lynn Skidmore; and a great-grandson.
Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, January 15, 2022, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 290 7th Street in Idaho Falls. The family will visit with friends from 12 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. prior to the services at the church. Burial will be in the Iona Cemetery under the direction of Wood Funeral Home.
The family wishes to thank the wonderful caregivers from Hands of Hope Hospice and Fairwinds-Sand Creek Retirement Community who made the last several months lighter, lovelier, safer, and full of more laughter for both Betty, her friends, and her family. Special thanks also to folks from St. John’s who visited regularly with Betty and helped fill her desire for community and fellowship.