Bette Eleonore Simons
Bette Eleonore Bottger was born in Los Angeles, on April 30, 1929. Having lost her parents at an early age she grew up at the Masonic Home for Children in Covina. In high school she showed a strong interest in writing, having stories published in various journals for young writers. Bette graduated from UCLA with majors in English and Education and became an elementary school teacher. While in college she met Don Simons and they later married while he was completing law school. Together they created a home in Sherman Oaks where they lived for 60 years and raised 3 children. During this time Bette resumed her education and earned a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Development at California State University Northridge where she became an instructor at the pre-school lab. Later Bette owned and operated for over 20 years a nursery school and early childhood development center in Woodland Hills. She was recognized as a leader in the field of early childhood education as she wrote several books on the subject, had a weekly newspaper column, hosted a radio program, and led workshops at peer conferences as well as being active in professional societies. Bette was also a leader in several community organizations as diverse as the League of Women Voters and the Children’s Nature Institute and the SAGE society. She was also a woman with a wide variety of interests and passions. She was an outspoken vegetarian, environmental activist, and advocate for social justice. She was highly creative as a member of an artist’s group, a writing group, an improv acting group and a musical group. She loved playing games whether it was ping pong or scrabble or Maj jong which she taught at the Senior Center.
Bette was a resident of Santa Barbara for the past 2 years having moved with Don from Sherman Oaks to a retirement community to be close to their family who are long time residents.
Above all else she was a loving wife , mother and grandmother and is survived by husband Don, daughter Hilary Morland (John), sons Drew (Natalie), Steven and grandchildren Derek Simons, Kayla Simons, Paul Morland, April Morland, and Will Morland. A celebration of life will be held in the fall.
Donations in her memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.