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Larkin Mortuary

Betty Virginia Janke Bailey

12/30/1924 - 10/01/2019

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A bright light in all our lives, Betty Virginia Janke Bailey passed away on Tuesday, October 1 2019 at the age of 94. She was born in Salt Lake City on December 30, 1924 to Paul and Erna Koplin Janke. The oldest of seven children, she spent her childhood growing up in various homes in what is now the Trolley Square area, but her happiest times were spent at her grandparent’s farm. She was a loving and caring granddaughter and had a special love for her grandmother, Emma Koplin.

She married the love of her life, Robert Bailey, on Valentine’s Day in 1947, and their marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple in September 1963. Together, they loved to dance at the Rainbow Rendezvous and go on vacations to California, especially San Francisco. A few years after they married, they bought a home in Rose Park, which Betty lived in until the day she died, and took great pride in having a beautiful yard and garden. They were blessed with two children, Cathie and David.

Throughout the years, Betty had several jobs, including working for Dunford Bakers and New York Life. After her children were in school, she began working at ZCMI. She started in the toy department and eventually became a secretary for the buyers, and held that position until she retired. At each of these jobs, she made happy memories and lifelong friends who she kept in contact with many years after she left. She was active in the LDS church, and especially loved her callings serving in the Primary.

She was the very definition of unconditional and unselfish love, taking care of her husband Bob after he became a quadriplegic, until his death in January 1987, while also working full-time. She loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, spending many hours playing board games, doing puzzles, reading stories and anything else their heart desired! Even when her grandchildren became adults, she still spoiled them by taking them out to lunch and buying them their favorite treats. She never forgot a birthday or holiday and you could expect to receive a special card in the mail from her. She will be missed by all who knew her and loved her.

She is survived by her children Cathie (Drew) Pearson and David (Rochelle), her grandchildren Traci (Spencer) Sutherland, Tim (Rachel) Pearson, Jourdain (Cassidy) Bailey, Jillian (Allen) Mafileo, Tiffany (Hyrum) Murphy, Jesse (Angie) Rayburn, Makell (Luke) McKinnon and 17 great-grandchildren, her sisters Pauline (Marv) Love, Carolyn (Larry) Landward, brother Steve Janke and many nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her sister Joyce and brothers Jerry and Don, and daughter-in-law Brenda.

A viewing will be held Wednesday, October 9 from 9 – 10:30 a.m., followed by a funeral at 11 a.m. at the Rose Park 10th Ward, 760 N. 1200 W., Salt Lake City. Interment will take place at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, 3401 S. Highland Dr, after the services.

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  • I will miss Aunt Betty so much. She was always so happy and loving. I think of her every night when I watch the Golden Girls. We will keep all of you in our prayers.

    — christy harrson

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