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Betty Sue Orum

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“Betty Orum was a kind and and wonderful mentor to me. I was one of the many teachers who had the privilege of working under her direction and...Read More »
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“This is such a beautiful and lovingly written tribute to your mom, Sandy. Although I never met her, I feel as though I know a tiny bit about your mom...Read More »
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Betty Sue Orum, aged 86, lost her long battle with pulmonary fibrosis in Palm Desert on January 7, 2017. Her husband Don, her sweetheart of 65 years, was by her side.
Betty was born on September 30, 1930, to Richard E. and Florence Jones in Lime Springs, Iowa, and was known to all as Betty Sue. She loved small town life, where she helped her parents run the general store. After high school, she attended Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls. Later she attended CSU Dominguez Hills and Pacific Oaks College in California. As an adventure, she and a fellow teacher took the train to California intending to stay for the summer. But she went to visit Don when he came home on leave from the Navy and they married shortly thereafter on November 22, 1951. When Don left the Navy, they made their home in California, living for over 40 years in Los Angeles where they raised two daughters, Lori Sue Orum (Los Angeles) and Sandra Orum Green (Pebble Beach).
She began her career as an educator teaching 2nd grade in LaPorte City, Iowa. In Los Angeles, after her daughters were in school, she founded and directed the La Tijera United Methodist Preschool and Child Care Center and ran it for over 25 years. She was recognized for her vision and leadership by the Los Angeles City Council and by hundreds of colleagues, families, and former students -- some of whom continued to correspond with her all her life. After her retirement, Betty worked as a consultant to many church-related preschools in Los Angeles and the Coachella Valley and up until five years ago was volunteering in a kindergarten class in a local migrant community. She touched so many with her generous spirit.
Betty was devoted to her family and loved spending time with them. Family gatherings were full of bridge, games, charades, music, tennis or golf, walks, stories and lots of laughter. She enjoyed spending time with her daughters and their families and her three grandchildren, Gabrielle Orum Hernandez (26), Daniel Orum Hernandez (23), and Maxwell Spencer Green (14).
She enjoyed traveling with Don, family and friends and loved seeing God's great creation. She gloried in the sunrise over the mountains in Palm Desert and walking along the ocean in Pebble Beach. A graceful and loving spirit, she saw the good in everyone, and had a life-long love of learning. She and Don loved their 20+ years living in Chaparral and their many friends and activities. Whether it was the Niners, the Putters, the Red Hatters, the Duplicate Bridge group or her dearly loved Chaparral Bible Study group, Betty loved her friends and enjoyed creating community. Betty was and will forever be dearly loved by her husband, daughters, son-in-law, grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Interment will be at the Riverside National Veterans Cemetery.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to:
American Lung Association, 55 W. Wacker Drive, Ste. 1150, Chicago, IL 60601 or Gentiva Hospice, 36947 Cook Street, #102, Palm Desert, CA 92211.