Patricia LaRue Bettridge was born to Helen F. Christiansen and Vurel L. Johnson on March 13, 1939, in Loveland, Colorado. At the age of five, she contracted Scarlet Fever and became completely deaf due to a high fever. This disability did not impair her zest for life or her natural spunk. It was at the Evans School in Denver where Patricia learned to read lips. She first learned sign language at the age of 15 when she attended the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind in Colorado Springs, CO. While there, she excelled at softball and volleyball. She received an award for captain of both sports. Although Patricia was speech-impaired, she was chosen to “sing” by signing “America the Beautiful” at her graduation.
Patricia was not afraid of hard work. Her first job was on the assembly line at the Samsonite factory, making suitcases. During this time, Patricia was blessed with her first child, Devin Dean, in 1966. She loved being his mom. They enjoyed many adventures together despite her lingering health effects from the Scarlet Fever.
At a deaf church luncheon, Patricia met Dennis Roger Bettridge. After a brief but sweet courtship, they were married. Their first child, Brian James, was born November 24, 1973. Patricia put away her suitcases to become a full-time mom to her beautiful boys. Two years later, they welcomed their baby girl, Jackie Lee. The family was complete. They could often be found fishing, camping, and traveling to many fun destinations. Sadly, the family would say goodbye to Brian James when he succumbed to kidney failure at three years old.
Patricia and Dennis divorced in 1983 but continued to raise their young daughter. When her grandchildren came along, she was delighted. Patricia loved crafting, crocheting, reading, gardening and scrapbooking. Her home was filled with her creative creations, and her garden was packed with the fruits of her labor.
Patricia passed peacefully into the arms of the Lord at her home on September 15, 2023. Awaiting her return: her son, Brian; parents, Helen and Vurel; step-father, Duane; sister VJ; and nephew Lance. She leaves to cherish her memory, son, Devin Johnson; daughter, Jackie Helton; grandchildren, Jasmine LaShae, Brian James, and Kaylee Nicole; and a host of friends and family.
Patricia's service will be livestreamed at the scheduled service time. Click here
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In lieu of flowers, Patricia would like donations made to the Denver Dumb Friends League.