1918 Betty 2014

Betty A. Peterson

February 10, 1918 — June 6, 2014

Betty A. Peterson was born in Tacoma, Washington on February 10, 1918 to Johan and Sophie (Carlson) Ostrich. Sophie was the daughter of Frank Carlson the lighthouse keeper at Cape Argo, Oregon and Ade Carlson daughter of James Anderson lighthouse keeper at Cape Disappointment. Johan Ostrich was an immigrant from Trieste, which was part of Austria at the time. In 1926 the Ostrich family moved to Longview, Washington where Betty attended grade school and high school. In the 1930's she moved to the Long Beach area and lived on the James Anderson farm at the intersection of Cranberry and Sand Hill Roads. At the time she worked in Tommy Phillip's Café in Long Beach with a stint at the Oasis Café in Skomakawa. In September 4th 1940 she married Leslie Peterson. Before settling in Long Beach they followed the logging operations of Provo Logging Company, living in Bay Center during the war and later in Pe Ell, Washington. On returning to Long Beach she had a long working career opening oysters at Bendiksen's East Point Seafoods in Nahcotta (her top day was 500 pounds of opened oysters at 8 cents per pound) and later worked at Ted Lentz's and Roy Star's grocery stores in Long Beach. In the 70's she ran the office for the Baker Bay Company during Les Peterson's development of Baker Bay, a subdivision of Ilwaco. Betty was an avid razor clam digger and dug commercially in the late 40's and early 50's. Last year was her final appearance, successfully digging on the clam beds at the age of 95. For the 2014 tides she was mentally ready to go however her better judgment told her to step back and maybe get stronger for next year. Betty was a member of Pacific Chapter Order of Eastern Star, Ladies of the Elks and was Mother Advisor to the Rainbow Girls, In 1947 she was instrumental in starting the Long Beach Kindergarten. In the 1970's she was a member of one of the Peninsula Women's Bowling teams competing in many tournaments throughout Washington and Oregon. Fishing was her passion! In the summer 1924, when 6 years of age, little Betty Ostrich had something pulling her to the shores of Lake Sacagawea in Longview, Washington. It was the fish she had seem lurking in the waters. It was the great Depression and lacking resources she found line, a stick, modified a safety pin, attached a wiggling earth worm then threw it into the still waters for her first catch. So began the 90 year fishing career of Betty Peterson. Over the years the waters of the Chinook River, Bear River, Naselle River, Nemah and of course the mighty Columbia and Pacific Ocean became her fishing paradise. In 1952 after a long struggle near the end of South Jetty, she landed this 55 pound Chinook salmon to the surprise of all the other men in the boat of neighbor Chuck English. Right up to the present, each year the powerful siren of the tug on the fishing pole inevitably propelled her forward to one more year on the waters of her home on the lower Columbia River. In the early 50's she regularly fished from "Derbyville" and later from an old single cylinder converted CRPA boat based in Ilwaco. For the last 22 years her summers were on the Ilwaco based boat "Geneva" which extended her fishing passion from Columbia River salmon and sturgeon to the grounds of the albacore tuna. Last fishing season she was still catching salmon. June 6, 2014 Betty Peterson hung up her fishing pole for good. She leaves two generations of inspired fisherwomen and fishermen to carry forward in her footsteps. A private family burial was held at Ilwaco Cemetery. Betty leaves behind two children, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren: daughter Gayle Peterson of Ilwaco, son Jim Peterson of Corseaux Switzerland; grandchildren Bradley Peterson of Natick, Massachusetts, Kate Hamilton-Smith of St. Oyen, Switzerland, Jill Peterson on Boston, Massachusetts, Heidi Cochran of Beaverton, Oregon, Joel Cochran of Seattle, Washington and nephews Ken Leback of Seattle, Washington and Steve Waltimate of Long Beach. The family encourages donations in her memory to the Ilwaco Heritage Museum (PO Box 153, Ilwaco, WA 98624) where both Les and Betty Peterson had committed so much time and energy. Her guestbook is available at www.penttilaschapel.com

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