After a valiant fight against dementia Betty White passed into eternal rest on July 26, 2019 at the age of 97. Betty was born in Zukspur (Des Moines), Iowa on November 21, 1921 to Nello and Rose (nee Bredesky) Berttucci. Fifty-one weeks later Betty’s brother, Joe, joined the family. Betty and Joe were extremely close even though, as adults, distance separated them. Their mother, Rose, died when Betty was 8. This was a difficult time for 2 small children. Betty had a great love for school and education which she would pass on to her children. Her father did not want her to go to high school, but being the stubborn person she was, Betty was determined to continue her schooling. She moved out of the home at age 14 and went to work as a nanny / maid for neighbors. She graduated from East High (Des Moines) in 1940. After her mother died, Betty’s aunt Catherine Croix took her and her brother Joe under her wing. Betty went to cosmetology school that provided her a profession she loved for the next 50 years.
She married her first husband Robert Kosinski in 1942 and had her first child, Robert Neil Kosinski. She opened her first beauty salon in Chicago in 1947. The marriage ended in divorce in 1950.
In 1950, she met and married a military man, Howard B. White, who was in the Air Force. Through the years they made wonderful memories while stationed in North Carolina, California, Arizona, Bermuda, Indiana and finally back to California in 1959. Their first time in California, Betty opened a beauty salon in Riverside next to the old Fox Theatre and, also, during this time, their daughter Jacqueline was born. Betty had the only beauty salon on the island of Bermuda where the military wives frequented which resulted in many life-long friendships. She was also the founder and owner of the only Beauty School on the island. When they returned to Perris in 1959, they bought the home where they would live for the next 57 years. Betty opened the Beauty Nook salon in Perris and later built a bigger salon on the corner of 7th & “D” street.
In the 1960s, Betty and Bob were involved with dances, luaus, crazy Halloween costume parties and BBQs at the American Legion, an occasional cocktail or two, and their infamous, spontaneous trips to Las Vegas.
With the development of Sun City, Betty opened a second salon called Bobette’s in the early ‘70s. She retired in the mid ‘80s. After retirement Betty and Bob enjoyed RVing with several camping groups. After Bob’s passing, Betty enjoyed her time with friends playing Bunco, cards, luncheons, jigsaw puzzles (always one on the table), and most of all loving on her dogs, Snoopy and Honey Bun, and don’t forget those cats, and visits with the grandkids. Her door was always open to family and friends and you never went away hungry as she was a great cook!
Betty is survived by her daughter Jackie White of Menifee, CA, son Robert (Bobby White) Kosinski and his wife Jo of Camano Island, WA, her beloved brother, Joseph Berttucci of Lockport, Il., beloved sister, Mary Jane Grimm of Ankeny, IA, and 3 half -sisters. Also left to cherish her memory are 8 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, 4 great-great grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Betty was preceded in death by her parents Nello and Rose Berttucci, her husband Bob White, infant brother Arthur Berttucci, and half-brother Frank Berttucci.
A celebration of life to be held at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Sun City on August 6, 2019 beginning with Visitation at 11:00 a.m., Rosary 11:30, followed by a Funeral Mass at 12:00 noon and interment at Riverside National Cemetery. Please do not wear dark clothing. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in her name to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or any NO kill animal shelter.
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