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November 12, 1931
October 6, 2010
Dr. Donald G. Bettger of Port Angeles, born November 12, 1931, died October 6, 2010, at the age of 78 years young. The cause of death was pulmonary constriction.
Born in Portland, Oregon, to Anna Marie Schneider and Salomon Bettger, he graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1949. He then attended Portland State College from 1949-1951. Dr. Bettger also attended and graduated from Pacific University from 1951-1952.
He served in the United States Air Force from 1950-1951.
On November 27, 1954, he married his true love, the woman he spent his entire life with, Sandra J. VanDerford in Portland, Oregon. Together they bore five children.
In 1959, Don and his love made their way to Port Angeles, where he opened his first optometric practice, later adding optical care to Forks and Clallam Bay prison.
Donald was a very active member of our community! Including: City Councilman, 5 ½ years, 1964-1970; Chamber of Commerce -- Co-chairman, Downtown Beautification and Waterfront Development Commission; Campfire Board of Directors; Arts in Action -- Chairman, 1972-1975; Liberty Bell Project Initiator through Port Angeles Lions Club; Derby Days -- Treasurer during re-organization, 1965; Derbyaires -- President, 1984; Swimming Pool -- Member, fundraising committee; Citizen of the Year Award, Recipient, 1976; Clallam County Community Action Council -- Board Member, 2 years; Clallam County Freeholders, elected position, 2 years; Clallam County Animal Ordinance Committee Chairman; Washington State Combined Health Agencies Program Board member, 2 years; Governor Evans Council on Aging; Member, American Heart Association of Washington, volunteer 2 years and chairman of the Board for 2 years; Northwest Rocky Mountain Region Heart Committee President-elect; recipient of the Distinguished Service Medallion, 1980; recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Medallion; Elks member, 28 years; Lions International perfect attendance 28 years; Lions International secretary, 1 year, President, 1963-1964; Zone Chairman, 1965-1966; District Governor, 1970-1971; Washington Optometric Association Society President, Member, Board of Directors; Secretary to President Richard Cooke; President of Washington Optometric, 1971-1972; State Board of Examiners in Optometry.
Visual Welfare of the Public: As a member of his Lion's Club, and in the interest of sight conservation, Dr. Bettger examined eyes from 1985-1987 free of charge, and supplied glasses at cost for the underprivileged who were referred by the Lions Club.
While District Governor of the Lions Club, his effort led to renaming Seattle Low Vision Clinic, to The Lions Low Vision Clinic, with subsequent funding for books and equipment provided by the multiple District 19, Lions International.
His hobbies included carpentry, stained glass, golf, skiing and running. He was also involved in Port Angeles Light Opera, and participated in three productions (1984, 1985, 1986).
He is preceded in death by his father, Salomon Bettger, and mother, Anna Marie Bettger; and sister, Shirley O'Reilly.
Dr. Bettger is survived by stepmother, Mildred Bettger of Portland, Oregon; his brother, James, and his wife, Cynthia, of Oregon City, Oregon; children, Brian Bettger and his wife, Linda, Valerie Bettger-Tiderman and her husband, Dale, Brad Bettger and his wife, Tammy, Vince Bettger and his wife, Michele, and Stephanie Bettger.
Don and Sandra have seven grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, with more on the way.
Don has always had a heart for community! His many commitments to service has proven his character and passion for caring for those in need. Don has always been very active in the Catholic Church with perfect attendance.
So many of Don's patients remember him as the doctor who cared enough to explain thoroughly his diagnosis and corrective actions to be taken in such a way that the patient felt they were truly cared for.
As his children, we are proud of our dad when people remember him and tell their story of how well he'd taken care of them as patients during their eye exams.
As a dad, Don was always willing to help with his amazing carpentry skills or plain old solid advice. We so love him and miss him, but his character and passions live on through us.
Funeral service and Mass will be at Queen of Angels Church in Port Angeles on Monday, October 11, at 10:30 a.m.
Sequim Valley Chapel (360-683-5242), Sequim, is in care of arrangements.