Elizabeth Ann Sekreta

Betty Sekreta

On January 1, 2021, the world lost an amazing light with the peaceful passing of Elizabeth Ann Sekreta at the age of 97. Elizabeth (Betty) was born in Portland, Oregon on October 5, 1923, to Clifford and Maybelle Skinner. She had two older brothers and one younger brother, but was rarely left out of their adventures, going hunting and horseback riding around their property when they moved to Arizona when she was young.

John and Betty

She met the man who would become her husband on the train during one of her trips to Arizona from Oregon where she was teaching. After a whirlwind long-distance courtship, she married John Joseph Sekreta on July 9, 1945. John’s career in the Navy took them to San Diego, California and then to the San Francisco Bay area where they raised their two children, John, Jr., and Kathi.

Betty started her teaching career at the age of 18 and taught or administered schools nearly continuously until she retired. Betty received her BA and Master’s in Education and Administration from San Francisco State University, with a particular interest in special education throughout her career. Her last position was as principal of a school for students with physical disabilities. When Betty retired from teaching, she and John, Sr. moved to Washington state to be closer to John, Jr. and his family. She and John, Sr. spent their retirement traveling frequently and seeing the world.

Betty was a phenomenal woman who led a fruitful life filled with laughter, love, kindness, and family. She lived and practiced “ohana” even before she knew what that was. The Sekreta household was welcoming and loving. She let her love and joy shine on so many people, many of whom became that ohana over the years. Everyone who knew Betty loved her just as much as her immediate family. She was an educator through and through, having a successful career and passing that love of learning and teaching on to her six granddaughters and five great-grandchildren. She was full of the best advice and made sure everyone she knew learned something worthwhile from her.

She was an amazing baker, and many of her grandkids and great-grandkids continue baking her signature ginger crisps or Nordy Bars. She knew how to throw a party and she ensured that everything she was involved with was filled with her light. When she and John, Sr. moved into a retirement community, she became known as the life of the party – if there was a ruckus, Betty was likely in the middle of it, possibly the cause.

The massive hole in our heart will heal with some time, more baking, and probably a bit of whiskey or wine. Everyone she met will forever be impacted by the love that she so freely gave. So cheers to you Betty, I hope you, John, Sr., and all of your ohana are having a massive party together in heaven, as you did in life. Love you.

Betty is preceded in her passing by her brothers, Bob, Cliff and Jack, and her loving husband John. She is survived by her children John (Kathleen) and Kathi (Donn); her grandaughters Jennifer (Rob), Colleen (Steve), Deborah, Meghan (Doug), Kristin (Eric), and Emily (Adam); her five great-grandchildren and many, many friends and ohana throughout the world.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated via LiveStream (https://www.saintteresacalcutta.org/138) at Saint Theresa of Calcutta Catholic Church at 10:30 AM on Monday, January 11. She will be interred at Holyrood Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Elizabeth Sekreta’s name to the Seattle Children’s Hospital (https://www.seattlechildrens.org/giving/) or the Saint Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Church’s (Woodinville, WA) African Orphan’s Fund (https://www.africaorphanprogram.org).

5 Responses to “Elizabeth Ann Sekreta”

  • John Sekreta says:

    Thoughtful and appreciative words cannot express my feelings for those who wrote so masterfully for my mother. It is a fitting tribute to a wonderful lady.

    Blessing and Health to all,

    John Sekreta, Jr.

  • Maureen Cox Callen says:

    I am a better person for knowing Elizabeth. She was a warm, intelligent and very caring person with a smile always in her pocket ready to hand pass along! Will miss you Elizabeth…

  • Gloria Bechtel says:

    Elizabeth was a wonderful kind, loving person, @ blessing to all who had the pleasure of knowing her.
    We had many fun times together, lunches, shopping at Target, several adventures, which always made us laugh, to occasional Md, dental appointments. There were times we just sat and discussed many issues, Papa John, heaven, and God. Elizabeth was a wonderful prayer warrior, we would agree our lists were getting so long we might not have enough time to sleep. She was very wise about saying how we should pray.
    I am happy for Elizabeth, she is exactly where she wanted to be. She now has her glorified body without any of the problems of our earthly body, she can see everything clearly now, from God to John, and the beauty of heaven.
    While my heart is broken at the loss of my dear friend, I rejoice for her and know one day we will meet again. Until then my dear friend I will remember all your wisdom, and miss you terribly.

  • Brenda Baltrusch says:

    I’ve been blessed to have known Betty (and John) for more than 30 years. Betty always impressed me with her ability to interact with individuals of all ages and from all walks of life. She was loving, empathetic, a great listener and genuinely cared about mankind. She encouraged the discouraged, put others needs before her own and was a true prayer warrior.

    Betty took great pride in her family. As evidenced by the success of her many granddaughters; Betty shared her motivation for education and equality. She lived a long and full life but still had wisdom beyond her years.

    Betty’s gifts were many and I am blessed to have known her. I will miss her kindness and her wonderful laugh the most. Rest In Peace Dear Betty.

  • Diane Zehnder says:

    Elizabeth lived her life here on earth as a kind,courageous,forgiving and loving woman of God. She was brave beyond words in her later life, missing always, her John, enjoying and loving her family and friends. Lovely lady, your reward has come. You are with The Holy One of Heaven now, and all that Heaven holds. You ran “the race” with fervor, to inspire the rest of us. Thank you.

    Diane Zehnder
    PacMed former staff member

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