Obituary Listings

David Louis Betker

October 22, 1942 July 4, 2021
David Louis Betker
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Obituary for David Louis Betker

David Louis Betker was born October 22, 1942, in Salem, Oregon, to Ben and Martha (Glenn) Betker. He grew up with two sisters in the Jefferson area and attended all his schooling in Jefferson, graduating from Jefferson High School. David joined the Navy and served for a few years before being honorable discharged. When he left his military service, he moved to California where he worked in airplane maintenance off base.

While in California he would marry and become a father to a boy and a girl. After the marriage ended, the couple parted amicably, remaining friends, coparenting their children in a way they both agreed on. David took his son Mike and moved back to Oregon to raise him as a single dad. His daughter stayed with her mother in California, but each summer, the kids would spend together, six weeks at each parent’s home.

When he was in California, David had taken an interest in racing and continued the hobby in Oregon, together with his young son. They spent many weekends at the dirt track in Lebanon racing stock cars together. When Mike was old enough to drive, he took over for his dad in the driver’s seat, but they continued the hobby together. They may not have had all the money that backed other racers, but Mike was a talented driver and David knew how to make do with what he had and was successful regardless.

Being outdoors was cathartic for David and he loved to be surrounded by nature and would rather be outdoors than at home. Even as a kid, he would just take off for days, camping in the woods or by the river, returning when he felt sufficiently refreshed. As an adult he would escape to the mountains whenever he could to just take in the beauty and serenity around him. David was also an avid hunter, both archery and rifle. He loved that archery allowed him to hunt earlier in the season. David also had an artistic side and loved photography, especially photographing flowers. He submitted some of his prints at fairs and even sold a couple of prints. He dabbled in painting for a time and gave each of his children some of his works.

A true introvert, David kept to himself and cherished his time alone in nature. When his health began to fail and he could no longer get up into his beloved mountains, David would sit for hours at the Ankeny Wildlife Refuge and just take in all the natural beauty and the various wildlife. Having lived together for most of their lives, David and his son Mike were extremely close, and Mike lovingly cared for his dad as his health was failing. On July 4, 2021, David passed away peacefully at their home at the age of 78 with both of his children by his side.

David was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Ruby. He is survived by his son Mike Betker; his daughter Helen (Darren) Harper; sister Evelin (Roger) Rhodes; grandchildren Jessica Betker, Miranda Lambert, David (Katie) Harper, and Bryan Harper; and six great-grandchildren.

Special thanks to Signature Hospice for the wonderful care they gave to David in his last few days.

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