Bette Kirgis Richardson was a thoughtful and loving mother, grandmother and wife. Throughout her life she exemplified beauty, grace, kindness and courage. Her passing is devastating to her many extended family members and friends.
Bette was born in Chicago on 20 March 1936. Her parents were Chuck and Marie Kirgis of Chicago Heights. She went to Bloom High School and the Santa Clara Academy at Sinsinawa, Wisconsin, and graduated from Marquette University.
She taught high school English and History in Seattle and then took a job with the government in Special Services in Germany where she lived for three years. She travelled extensively throughout Europe, and met her husband there. They had a wonderful and peripatetic life, living in New Mexico, Alabama, Illinois, and Washington, DC. and travelling extensively.
Her career was as diverse as her residences. She was a teacher in Seattle, Germany, and Illinois. She raised her two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama where she chaired the Symphony and Women’s Art Museum Guilds and where she worked for the Army Strategic Missile Command and the Army Hospital Pathology Laboratory. In Washington she was a staff member in Senator Howell Heflin’s Office, and an executive secretary at the Association for Colleges and Universities. She also found time to become a docent at the Corcoran and Kreeger Museums and an information specialist at the National Gallery of Art.
Bette is survived by her husband Jim, the families of her two daughters, Lorenne (husband Gary and children, Hallie and Ryan) and Arlis (husband Mike, and children, Grace and Sarah), and her sister, Joan Loop.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to Doctors without Borders or Pancreatic Cancer Network (pancan.org).