Betty Jane Steensma

Betty Steensma PhotoBetty Jane Steensma of Moscow died Friday, January 2, 2015 at Good Samaritan Moscow Village. She was 97.

Betty was born at the family home in the Cottonwood area on December 7, 1917 to Herman A. and Alice G. Weinman Weigand. Her mother died when she was small and she lived with relatives, attending school at Troy and Moscow High, graduating from there. She worked at Washburn-Wilson Seed Company for a time prior to her marriage to Harry R. Steensma in Moscow on August 13, 1937.

They made their home in Moscow where she raised her family, later working as a cook for Russell, Lena Whitmore and McDonald Elementary Schools, as well as the Junior High and High School. She was an active Girl Scout leader for 30 years and a member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church and active in the women’s circle there. She also enjoyed camping with her grandchildren.

Surviving are her daughters, Kathy and Jack Starr of Tacoma, Karen and Jack Bashaw of Moscow, Becky and Tom Day of Aberdeen, WA and Shelley Hahn of Pullman. She also leaves her longtime companion, John Steensma as well as 13 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Harry, in 1994, a daughter, JoAnn in 2003, brothers, Jack and Gainford, sisters, Faye and Hartha and a grandson, Dan Bashaw in 2000.

A graveside service will be held Tuesday at 11:00 AM at the Moscow Cemetery.

Viewing will be Monday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM at Short’s Funeral Chapel in Moscow and online condolences may be sent to

The family suggests memorials be made to the Girl Scouts of America or to the Moscow Ambulance Fund.



8 Responses to Betty Jane Steensma

  1. Terry Johnson-Huhta says:

    I am so saddened to learn about my Girl Scout leader Ms. Betty. Each time I open my jewelry box I see the wooden musical note all her Brownies made at Camp Ken Jockety (sp). And….. the campfire stew recipe…once in awhile I’ll make it. YUM. Always thinking of Betty. I’ve got a few of the mimeograph recipes she gave to us and think of her. Somewhere in my “stuff” is the Girl Scout sash with all the badges she helped me earn. She touched the lives of so many Moscow girls. What a VERY SPECIAL LADY. Please know that I am thinking of you and your family at this time. HUGS. Terry

  2. Denny McElroy says:

    So sorry to hear of Betty’s passing. Betty was my babysitter, neighbor, my school cook, and a wonderful person, I have many fawn memories of Betty and her family.

  3. Sandy Paulson White says:

    I have such fond memories of Girl Scouts and the adventures Betty took us on. I especially remember the years that she teamed up with my mother, Aleta Paulson, as co-leaders. Betty was such an important part of my growing up and I charish the valuable lessons she taught… I still have to leave a camp site cleaner then I found it!
    You are all very lucky to have had Betty as a mother, grandmother and friend.

  4. Joyce Herred Rauch says:

    My cousin, friend and confidant, You will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved you. Rest in peace.

  5. Mary Campbell says:

    I too loved Ms. Betty – because she made each and every girl feel welcomed, important and special. She always encouraged and helped “the troop” succeed in each and every turn. She was one wonderful wonderful lady! I too have some mimeographed recipes – my favorite was the Caramel Corn- I think she made the best Cinnamon twists in the world!
    My favorite camping experience was when she took us to the Girl Scout Roundup at Farragut State Park – we were so excited to see all of those girl scouts from around the world. To Shelly and all the Family – my condolences – thank you all for sharing your Mom with all of us – God Bless You. Mary Normington Campbell

  6. Bonnie Wullenwaber says:

    Will forever remember Mrs. Betty. So many good times were had with her as our Girl Scout leader and neighborhood mother to all. Sending my love to the Steensma family during this sad time.

  7. Marge Normington-Jones says:

    Mrs Betty was a wonderful Girl Scout leader and a second mom to all of us. She was kind and patient and had a good sense of humor. She found something good in each of her scouts and she was loved by us all. Shelly now your mom and my mom can chatter away while they watch over us from heaven! May your happy memories ease your pain at this time of grief. Sending you sincere sympathy and love.

    Marge Normington-Jones

  8. Robin Ford says:

    Sending my thoughts and prayers for Aunt Betty’s family.

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