Bettijane Tomkinson passed away peacefully on October 4, 2018. She was born on February 15, 1922 in Ft. Lapwai, ID to Worth & Sophia Stoneburner. They moved to Ketchikan, Alaska later that year where Worth taught and coached basketball. Two brothers, Richard and Joseph were born in Ketchikan. The family returned to the states in 1927. Worth taught school in Bothell. Another brother, Robert was born there. Two sisters, Barbara and Dorothy were born in Renton. Bettijane graduated from Renton High School in 1938.
Bettijane worked for the Bell Telephone Co. as a switchboard operator during WWII. Bettijane joined the American Legion Auxiliary in 1936. She volunteered for USO spotting airplanes during WWII. She met her future husband, David Tomkinson at an USO dance. They were married in 1942 and he was deployed overseas shortly after. They spent many years volunteering at the Seattle VA Hospital, American Legion, and World Games in Seattle. Bettijane volunteered for the Renton Historical Museum, Renton High School All Class Reunion Committee and the American Cancer Society. Dave and Bettijane were active in the Bryn Mawr Methodist Church. They enjoyed boating and traveling with friends in the Rainer Yacht Club and the Jet Abouts RV Club. Dave and Bettijane danced for 53 years until he passed away suddenly in June 1995.
After Dave’s death, she met her next dance partner and future companion, Jerome Shepard at a Senior Center dance. Bettijane and Jerome traveled the globe over the 16 years they were together.
Bettijane was preceded in death by her husband, David Tomkinson and companion, Jerome Shepard. She was also preceded in death by daughter, Robin Bull and grandson, Conrad Bull. Her son-in-law Bob Hill, three brothers, Richard, Joseph and Robert Stoneburner, and two sisters, Barbara Moore and Dorothy Gilbert also preceded her in death.
Bettijane is survived by daughters, Bonnie Hill and Debra LeRoy (Ken) and son, Bruce Tomkinson. She is also survived by her Australian son (AFS student), John Martin (Annie). She is survived by six grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
A memorial service is scheduled for Friday, November 9, 2018 at 10:30 AM at Tahoma National Cemetery, 18600 SE 240th St., Kent, WA 98042. Memorials may be made to charity of your choice.