Elizabeth Boileau

Obituary of Elizabeth Ann Boileau

Elizabeth Ann Wess (Newell) Boileau was born on February 26th, 1930 to John Joseph and Rosa Zellner Wess, in Underwood, Washington. Scarlet fever was visiting the family home on Wess Rd., so Betty was born in Rosa’s sister Katherine Rhineland’s house on Little Buck Creek Road, in Underwood. Katherine’s young daughter, Teresa, loved Betty on sight, and the two grew closer than sisters until Teresa Ziegler’s death in 2011. The Wess family had emigrated from Paulish, Hungary in 1914, and established a small farm with strawberries and fruit trees at the top of Wess road. Betty was their sixth (and second youngest) child, all of whom attended school at the Underwood Grade School. Pretty and vivacious, Betty loved to ride her horse. One young man who saddled up to ride with her was Verne Newell. Betty and Verne were married in 1946, when Betty was just 16. Her parents had sold the farm and moved to Portland, Betty was in love, and the young couple set up housekeeping in the asparagus shed on Verne’s folk’s place on Newell Rd., in Underwood. Their family soon began arriving, and Verne went to work at Broughton’s mill as a sawfiler, a position he held until his retirement. The couple bought 30 acres on nearby Orchard Lane, where they finished having their six children and Betty took up her father-in-law’s mail route, a position she held for many years. Old timers in Underwood will remember the vanity plate on her mail car, “O-Verne” (to match his truck’s “O-Betty” plate) and her years of faithful mail delivery. The kids grew and Betty never missed a game, concert or other activity that her children were involved in. She extended her family to include her children’s friends. She went to night school and obtained her high school diploma at Stevenson High School in 1968. A devout, life-long Catholic, Betty was a pillar of her church and often invited the priest to dinner with the family. She also requested that he bless each of the family’s vehicles as the kids began to drive. Betty and Verne divorced in 1982, and Betty moved to Tri-Cities to be near her sister Virginia. She worked for the Lampson family and later for Battelle Industries, where she met Patrick Boileau, an engineer working for the Department of Energy. They fell in love and were married in 1986. After Pat’s retirement in 1989, the couple built a home that he designed in Durango, CO. They had some happy years there, two-stepping around the local dance floors, riding bikes, skiing and making lots of friends along the way. Betty loved her Jazzercize and continued to practice that as long as her body allowed. Pat’s daughter and son-in-law, Ann and Joe Pacheco, bought land nearby and planned to retire there, but it was not to be. Ann died of pancreatic cancer a year after she retired and Pat and Betty recalculated. Heartbroken, they decided it made sense for them to move back to Washington to be nearer Betty’s family. In 2004, they bought land in Trout Lake. Pat designed and built another home and they made new friends out there. Beautiful and fun, Betty was a great grandmother, famous for her “treasure hunts,” making up rhyming hints to set the kids on wild races to find the treasures she’d hide. She had a bubble machine she’d turn on for the kids, who called her Grandma Bubbles. Pat passed away in 2014, the house was sold, Betty moved back to Orchard Lane and eventually to Down Manor in Hood River. In spite of having many dear friends around her, and her large and loving family close by, Betty never quite recovered her powerful zest for life after losing Pat. As her health declined, she moved into Parkhurst Assisted Living in Hood River. She passed from this life on Friday, February 21st, with family by her side. Betty was predeceased by her parents, her eldest daughter, Cecilia, her brother, John Adam, and her sisters, Rosa, Katherine, Josephine, Marion and Virginia. She is survived by her daughters, Sharon (Jim) Bryan and Jayne (Scott) Allen, sons, Paul (Sally), Tim (Karen), and Lester (Shelly) Newell, stepdaughter Joan Boileau, grandchildren, Emilie Mosko, Troy Bryan, Traci Deo, Jason Newell-Hodge, Melanie Julien, Claire Graper, Colin Smith, Matt Newell, Jilyn Wood, Daniel Allen, Jolene Tolbert, Rikki McNealy, Timothy Newell, Mackenzie Newell and 20 great-grandchildren. The family wishes to thank the staff at Parkhurst as well as Hospice of the Gorge for their kind and tender care for Betty in her last days. There will be a service for Betty at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in White Salmon on March 14 at 11am, followed by a celebration of her life in the parish hall. Arrangements are in the care of Gardner’s Funeral Home.
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Saturday
14
March

Funeral Service

11:00 am
Saturday, March 14, 2020
St. Joseph Catholic Church
240 NW Washington
White Salmon, Washington, United States