Betty was born August 23, 1926 to Aaron Russel Dearden and Grace Summers Dearden in Idaho Falls, Idaho. She grew up and attended schools in Idaho Falls. Her upbringing had many wonderful memories of a close family setting living on a family farm which is now a trailer park on Yellowstone Highway called Shady Rest Campground. The home she was raised in is still there. She shared of how when she got out of school she would get on her horse and ride across the fields down what is now all businesses along Lincoln Road. She loved the freedoms of everyday life. Betty met the love of her life, Bill Donnelly, who just happened to be her brother Kenney's best friend. They got married in Virginia City, Montana on July 7, 1946. To that marriage Bill and Betty had 8 children. Her family was her life. Betty was a homemaker and Bill worked for the Idaho Falls Fire Department. Together they built homes, had rental properties and built a family cabin in Island Park. Love was invested in each one of us as we worked and enjoyed happy times together. Every time we headed up Ashton hill she stated, "This is God's country!" And the tree that was the most perfect pine tree just past Ponds Lodge, "There's our tree!" I'm sure that was what everyone said when they passed that tree. Many happy times together as a family were spent hunting, camping, fishing and exploring the great outdoors. Bill passed away May 12, 1992. Betty maintained close family togetherness throughout the remainder of her life. Betty was a master gardener. She created a paradise in her yard, relaying her vision and working together with her son and his wife seeing the amazing dream become reality. Todd and Dana lived with mom and were there to help her and try to keep up with her the remaining days of her life. Her yard was immaculate. Many family, friends and neighbors gathered there visiting, talking and just enjoying one another in the beauty of natures' surroundings which she created. She had a great love for people and no one was a stranger. Family, friends, and neighbors were the flowers in her garden. Many happy memories were spent in that peaceful atmosphere. Betty's legacy is one of being a wonderful wife, a mom who was always there for her family, a grandmother, a great grandmother, great -great grandmother, a sister and aunt. She loved so freely without judging anyone. Living in a time where life was simple and beautiful. There wasn't fear to leave your doors open at night. Neighbors were there for each other where your children were safe and played together. You sat down at the table together 3 times a day with a hot meal where we shared in our days activities. Dark was a time to come in. We laughed, we cried and we lived life to the fullest together as a family. Betty is survived by daughters Nancy, (husband Carl Lovell of Idaho Falls), Michelle,( husband Garth Pitman of Idaho Falls), sons Robert [Bob] Donnelly,( wife Rosalie of Lewisville), and Todd Donnelly,( wife Dana of Shelley). Many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great- great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Bill, her sons Tom, Jim and Brett, daughter Janet, parents Russel and Grace Dearden, her brothers Hal Eames, Kenney Dearden and sister Pat Robison and great grandson Austyn Villasenor. We would like to express our greatest appreciation to Dr. Brad Erickson and the staff of Brio Home Health and Hospice for their wonderful care of our beloved Betty. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 1:00pm at 783 E 1500 N, Shelley, Idaho. Condolences can be sent online to www.buckmillerhann.com
Betty Donnelly, 92, of Shelley, Idaho, passed away under the care of Brio Home Health and Hospice at her home on January 2, 2019.
Saturday, June 15th, 2019