Betty Irene Pickerel (Bemis)

Betty Irene Pickerel (Bemis)

Betty Irene Pickerel (Bemis) was welcomed into the arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on April 27th, 2019 in Newport, Washington.

Betty was born on August 12th, 1933 in Sheridan, Wyoming to Otto and Dolly Bemis. She was one of four children. Her mother passed away when she was only 4 years old and her family eventually relocated to Spokane where her father remarried and added 2 more children with Rosella Bemis. Not long after, this they left the big city and headed north to Usk, Washington where the family owned and operated the Usk Store and her father was in the logging and trucking business.

Betty graduated from Cusick High School in 1951. Unlike many young women of her day, she went off to college at Washington State University in Pullman to study Home Economics in the hopes of becoming a teacher. Some of her fondest memories during her college days were of summers spent working at Glacier National Park.

During the summer of 1953, Betty’s life shifted direction when she married Jess Pickerel on September 18th at the Baptist Church in Newport, WA. As newlyweds, Betty and Jess relocated to Sullivan Lake, WA. But soon, it was back to Usk to start a family.

Their oldest son, Joseph Michael Pickerel was born July 26th, 1954. Followed by William Franklin Pickerel on December 28th, 1956 and then Patricia Carol Pickerel (Stewart) on November 7th, 1957. In 1960, Jess and Betty purchased the family farm on Sandwich Creek Rd. While Jess tended to the farm, Betty mastered the garden and the kitchen.

On the farm, her raspberry patch was her pride and joy. She would brave the bees to pick the perfect berries that would be canned for the family to enjoy (and possibly a purple ribbon or two at the Pend Oreille County Fair!) Betty was able to provide for the family with all that was available on the farm making butter, cottage cheese and everyone’s favorite fresh baked bread and pie. Huckleberry pie was her specialty and picking huckleberries was one of her favorite pastimes. She relied on friends and family to get her to the huckleberry patch but most importantly she relied on them to get her home as sometimes her fervor for following the berries would lead her a little too far from the car.

In late 1975 their youngest son, Jack Elwood Pickerel was born on December 8th. Betty was 42 years old. You could say her life shifted direction again. One thing that never changed was her devotion to the lord. She spent every Sunday at the Dalkena Community Church teaching Sunday School and leading bible studies and the Pioneer Girls. Her life was a true and constant testimony to her love and deep, abiding faith in her Lord. She and Jess were married for 60 years and she was dedicated and proud of her role as loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and homemaker.

Betty was preceded in death by Jess Pickerel (husband), Joseph Pickerel (son), Bud Bemis (brother), Otto Bemis (father), Dolly Bemis (mother) and Rosella Bemis (step-mother).

Betty is survived by her children, Bill (Penny) Pickerel of Usk, WA, Carol Stewart of Wolf Creek, MT, Jack (Jen) Pickerel of Hayden ID, grandchildren, Nicole (Scott) Pugh of Kennewick, WA, Shawnee (Levi) Lanphear of Kennewick, WA, Jesse Stewart of Usk, WA, Lake Pickerel of Hayden, ID, great-grandson, Hank Lanphear of Kennewick, WA, and siblings, Pat Hein of Gaston, OR, Venetta Johnson of Sparks, NV, Joy Flint of Veradale, WA and Art Coster of Newport, WA.

A Memorial Service will held on Saturday, May 11th at 11 a.m. at Sherman-Campbell Funeral Home in Newport.

Sherman-Campbell Funeral and Cremation Services in Newport is in charge of arrangements. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guest book at

Sherman-Campbell Funeral and Cremation Services
PO Box 809 Newport, WA. 99156
Phone: 509-447-3118 Fax: 509-447-3247