Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Betty Hereford


January 14, 2021

Betty Hereford

Betty Hereford

Betty Crider Hereford (95), beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, and aunt passed away Monday, January 4, 2021, in Colfax, Wash.

Betty was born on August 9, 1925, in Tekoa, Washington. Betty and her mother, Marjorie spent her early years in and around Tekoa, where she had many happy moments in the company of Frank and Josephine Gumm, who she fondly called Papa Gumm and Auntie Jo. In 1935, Betty moved with her mother Marjorie and step-father Gus Burke to the farm at the base of Steptoe Butte and attended Sain School on Ragon Road. After graduating from Steptoe High School in 1943, Betty worked for the Whitman County Superintendent of Schools in Colfax.

Betty married Virgil Crider and lived for a time in the Seattle area where Virgil was employed by the Boeing Aircraft Company. As the war was winding down, they moved back to Whitman County and eventually made the George McCroskey Farm west of Oakesdale their home place. It is here they raised their two children, Claudia and Steve, and Betty found her calling as a farmer's wife and devoted mother. When Virgil passed away in 1966, Betty was employed as a bookkeeper by Jerry Sharp at the Oakesdale Implement. In 1968, Betty married Jim Hereford in Oakesdale, Wash., and they made their home on the farm in the Thornton area. Betty and Jim moved to Spokane in 1998 where they lived for three years until Jim's passing in 2001. In 2004, Betty returned home to Whitman County where she enjoyed living at the Hill Ray Plaza and eventually The Courtyard in Colfax, until her passing on January 4, 2021.

Betty, affectionately known by her family as "Nanny", was a treasure beyond compare. Her discipline and organizational skills were well suited for the demands of managing a household and farm life in the era in which she lived. Whether it was three hot meals a day for the harvest crew, a holiday dinner for a crowd, or maintaining a large yard and garden, Nanny had a knack for effortlessly completing each task with perfection, grace, and punctuality, all with a smile on her face and a song in her heart.

Although petite and quiet, Nanny's presence was always felt. She offered words of encouragement to "just do the best you can" and was a devoted fan at countless ball games. Knowing that the only way to become proficient at something is to be disciplined and dedicated, Nanny faithfully arrived each afternoon following school to supervise piano practice with her grandchildren.

Nanny's love for farming was lifelong. When she could no longer scale the ladder and climb into the combine cab, Nanny was still a part of the action, watching from a seat in the pickup. An annual harvest event was Nanny treating the harvest crew to fresh maple bars from the Rosauer's bakery. When asked what her favorite time of the year was, Nanny responded, "October, when the harvest is finished and the crop is in the ground." Nanny spent her time on earth sowing love, and her life was an abundant gift.

Betty Hereford

Betty Hereford

Betty was preceded in death by her brother Carl Burke, brother Bobby Burke, husband Virgil Crider, and husband Jim Hereford. She is survived by her daughter Claudia (Dennis) Doneen of Anacortes, Wash .; son Steve (Cotton) Crider of Oakesdale, Wash .; and sisters Wanda Alderman and Diana Hall, both of Steptoe, Wash .; her grandchildren, David (Heather) Doneen of Lodi, Calif .; Shelly (Greg) Szymanski; of Woodinville, Wash .; Heidi (Cap) Perry of Oakesdale, WA; Katie (Dave) Hockett of Oakesdale, WA; Carl (Renee) Crider of Oakesdale, Wash .; Stephanie (Peter) Orth of Yakima, Wash .; and 20 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her step-children Ed Hereford of Arizona, Karen Loesch of Rosalia, Wash., and their families.

Contributions in Betty's name may be made to the Oakesdale Community Presbyterian Church, PO Box 54, Oakesdale, WA 99158; to Oakesdale Youth Sports, PO Box 145, Farmington, WA 99128; or the Thornton Cemetery, Whitman County Cemetery District #5, 252 Ralph Henning Road, Thornton, WA 99176.

Betty was laid to rest at the Thornton Cemetery on Tuesday, January 12, 2021, with Pastor Erik Buhl officiating.


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