Betty States

Date of Death

Betty States passed away peacefully in her sleep at home in La Cañada on August 18, 2021.
She was 90, 2 months shy of her 91st birthday. She would sum up her long life as “wonderful” and “full of love,” and “beyond anything I could have imagined!”
Betty was born to Florence and James Supple and spent her childhood in upstate New York. Her sisters were Florence “Jean” and Loa Patricia “Pat” and Chadine. Her brother James “Jimmy” is the last surviving member.
While in high school Betty was scorekeeper for the boys’ church basketball team. According to Betty, Randy States was the “cutest boy” on the team and the “most outstanding athlete.” Betty let Randy know chocolate milkshakes were her favorite and he could take her to the soda shop after the game. They were together ever since that day, deeply in love until death did they part, on December 9, 2015, when Randy, 84 passed away at home. Two months shy of their 65th wedding anniversary.
They moved to La Cañada in 1962. Betty began teaching babies swimming in 1970. It began a deeply satisfying career for 50 years. In fact, there were La Cañada families that had three generations of swim lessons with Betty, beginning with her own. Some families came from various states across the U.S., including Hawaii, and even a few from New Zealand and China. She would read The Ledger, The Leader, The Valley Sun and The Outlook to see what her students had accomplished in life. “Look Yasmine is Rose Queen!” Betty always believed becoming a swimmer before one could walk created tremendous confidence.
Randy and Betty had four children and were fantastic parents. Betty took such pride in being a loving and supportive mother to Gary, Chad, Donna and Kent.
Gary and Elisa have three outstanding boys from her first marriage, Darrel, Jarrod and Eric; and they had two daughters Elizabeth and Shannon. Those men have 12 children between them. Elizabeth and Shannon have 2 children each. Sixteen grandchildren total.
Chad and Cheryl have 3 adult children, Lauren, Tyler, and Lindsey and one granddaughter so far.
Donna and Wendell have one amazing son, Max.
At first, Betty would fly to Honolulu to babysit Max, which included swimming lessons, his first at thirteen days old. Betty would fly out of Los Angeles in the morning and take the redeye that night to arrive back at LAX the next morning. She loved being grandma, but Max named her Loulou, and called her “my LouLou” and it stuck!
Betty and Randy both loved to travel at a moment’s notice and their daughter was a flight attendant, so the travel benefits came in handy. If the cherry blossoms were at peak in Washington D.C. or Tokyo, Japan, they were there. They joined their daughter on layovers all over the world. Betty’s favorite layover was Sydney, Australia, when the Olympics were awarded to Sydney, the fireworks on the Sydney Bridge, and the crowd cheering in Darling Harbor, was a thrill for her and she felt blessed to be a part of it. She was at the right place at the right time, anywhere, anytime, with her husband and a huge camera bag loaded with all things Nikon. They loved life. They lived it with passion.
Betty would say, “Who would think that little Betty Lou would travel the world, live in California and have a home in Maui.” Betty Lou was grateful to be out of the snow. She was appreciative of all she had and all she had done. It was beyond her wildest dreams.
Betty believed with all her heart she had the greatest husband ever. She cherished him. He still made her melt. They held hands as they still enjoyed chocolate milkshakes together.
Their youngest son Kent was killed by a drunk driver while walking with his friend in Palm Springs at the age of 15 in 1984. It was devastating for the family. He was an absolute treasure.
A special thanks to Whitney Bennett Salerno, Kent’s good friend that sent cards and letters on Kent’s Birthday, Christmas, the anniversary of his passing, and random days every year from 1984 to 2021. Betty kept every letter. Whitney never forgot. She is extraordinarily thoughtful.
Also, to Pam Gwynn, for her love and compassion.
And to Valerie Thompson, upon Kent’s passing became a warrior against drunk driving with Betty and became very active in MADD with Betty. They fought the hard fight and pushed forward together.
Mahalo to Wendell for all you did for both Randy and Betty and taking emergency leaves to be as supportive as possible. You are appreciated.