May 31, 1929 — April 15, 2014
Bernice May Bottorff, affectionately known as “Bea,” died on April 15, 2014, at Manor Care in Citrus Heights, under hospice care. She was 84. Bea was greatly loved by her family and friends. She was a genteel, lovely lady who was kind to everyone. But that was not all; she also was a true western woman. She had a strong work ethic, extraordinary spirit and time for a good laugh. As a girl working alongside her parents on the Placerville family farm, she could get up early, chop wood, grab up a chicken and cook a delicious gourmet dinner with her mother. To the end of her life, she never let any setback break her spirit.
Bea, born May 31, 1929, was the youngest of eight children. Her parents, Martha and Henry Francis (Phil) Bottorff, founded and ministered at churches in Live Oak, Placerville and Camino, Calif. Bea attended El Dorado High School in Placerville. She spent most of her adult life as an accountant in Sacramento with the State of California, Department of Education, but her activities outside of work were her true passions. She was an avid rose grower and judge, an imaginative gardener, an artist and an amateur genealogist who traced her extended family’s journey from the East to the West Coast and visited the places they lived.
In her last few years, Bea enjoyed daily walks and crossword puzzles and was most excited when she completed a New York Times puzzle and finished it off with a good cup of coffee. Her most distinguishing characteristic was her dedication to caring for others. She looked after her mother, sister and other family members and friends. She helped raise her sister’s daughter, Patricia “Patsy” Chatham, who considered Bea a second mother. This care and dedication extended to her dear friend, Charles Hatler.
Bea was preceded in death by her sisters and brothers, Olive Estella Bottorff (Lotter) (O’Connor), Viola Marie Bottorff (Richter), Nellie Frances Bottorff, Philip Ensor Bottorff, Ruth Elizabeth Bottorff (Chatham) (Wilson), James Leroy Bottorff and Henry Loyd Bottorff. She is survived by 10 nieces and nephews. She believed in a hereafter, where she joyfully sings those old hymns with her beloved parents, brothers and sisters. We will never forget you, Bea.
The family would like to thank the Mercy San Juan Medical Center, McAuley Neuroscience ICU doctors, nurses and staff for their acts of kindness and care during Bea’s last days, as well as Advantage Hospice and Manor Care, who helped make her last few days peaceful and comfortable.
A celebration of life will be held for Bea at a later date.