Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Betty Jo Rambo Engstrom

Sept. 27, 1933 - Mar. 6, 2019


March 14, 2019

Betty Jo Rambo Engstrom

Betty Jo Rambo Engstrom

Praise Jesus for the confident hope of Heaven! The Lord graciously called Betty Jo Rambo Engstrom, longtime Oakesdale resident, home to be with Him on March 6, 2019, at Deaconess Hospital in Spokane, at the age of 85. Betty Jo loved her family fiercely, graciously gave with her whole heart and will be missed beyond words!

Some fun things about "grandma" are: she loved pink carnations, pink lipstick, eating at Olive Garden, taking her family shopping, commenting on who was driving up the gravel road, singing, Diet Pepsi, gameshows, diamonds, the sunshine and being with her family! Betty Jo was truly a precious gift to her family! A celebration of life will be held Saturday, March 23rd, at 11:00 a.m. at the Community Presbyterian Church in Oakesdale, followed by a private burial in the Oakesdale Cemetery and a community meal at the Fire Station.

She was born September 27, 1933, in Oakesdale, the baby with four older brothers to watch out for her, to Elmer and Mary Vaughn Rohrbach. In high school, Betty Jo was a cheerleader and majorette. She loved to swim and was a very good diver; she served as a lifeguard at the Oakesdale pool. She also had an eye for Edward Rambo, a fellow classmate through the years. Betty Jo and Edward married on December 29, 1951. Edward served in the Army and they lived on bases in Missouri and Salinas, California. He was honorably discharged in 1955 and they returned home to Oakesdale where they began farming two miles west of town.

Betty Jo was a constant help on the farm. She drove truck, cooked three meals a day and took to the fields for the crew. She kept a beautiful yard and large garden. She was a member of Hope Chapter #29 O.E.S. and held office as Worthy Matron and as a Grand Officer. She was a lifelong member of the Community Presbyterian Church at Oakesdale where she taught Sunday school and sang in the choir. She loved to sing and was the bass member of a barbershop quartet in town. She loved music of all kinds and had taught herself to play the piano by ear.

Her family and her grandchildren brought her the most joy. She loved to follow each of them in their sports or school activities. Her life revolved around spending time with family. Betty Jo and Edward loved to travel and one of their favorite trips was an annual visit to Florida to spend time with good friends from their Army days.

They farmed until 2000 when they moved to Spokane. Betty Jo belonged to the Knifty Knitters Club and liked to frequent the South Hill Senior Center. Edward passed away in 2005 and Betty Jo married Eugene J. Engstrom, a longtime family friend, on June 4, 2009. They loved to go out to eat and they enjoyed many trips together and cruises all over the world. Sadly, Betty Jo lost her travelling companion on September 12, 2016.

She is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Debbie and Pete Steele of Beaverton, Ore .; a son, Jim Rambo and his wife Waunita of the Spokane Valley; seven grandchildren, Amanda (Stephen) Leckvold, Daniel (Allyson) Steele, Nikki (Brett) Racicot, Sarah (Nic) Mayer, James (Kayla) Rambo, Sabrina (Paolo) DiGirolamo, and Jarir Mallah; and twelve great-grandchildren. She also leaves behind loving relationships with the Engstrom family; Steve (Nancy) Engstrom of Woodinville, Wash., and Bo Engstrom's extended family. In addition to husbands, Edward and Gene; she was also preceded in death by her four brothers, Donald, Marshall, Bruce and Clif; and by Bo Engstrom.

The family suggests memorial gifts in her memory to be made to the Community Presbyterian Church at Oakesdale or the Shriner's Hospital for Children. On-line guest book is at http://www.bruningfuneralhome.com Bruning Funeral Home of Colfax is caring for the family.


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