Bette Waldele Sturtevant

Bette Waldele Sturtevant, 2013

Bette Waldele Sturtevant, 2013

Bette shared these memories with us on her 92nd birthday, October 20, 2012, when she attended the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Garden Home Elementary School. Interviewed by Patsy VandeVenter and Katherine McDonald.

I lived in Garden Home while I was a teenager and attended Tigard High School.

In 1939 I married Ken Waldele and we lived in Portland for several years while Ken worked at Manning’s Coffee Shop. In those days you could bring your lunch to Manning’s, buy a cup of coffee and sit at one of the tables to eat. They also had a deli where you could buy rolls and such.

We moved to Garden Home to two acres between what is now SW Stewart Street and Alder Avenue. The area behind the house was known as Waldele’s Woods. Our children, Terry and Cherie were born in Garden Home and attended Garden Home School from 1947 until 1964. Our friends and neighbors there were the Porshmans, the Sutters and the Singletarys. I am still friends with Billie Marx and Ernilie Storrs whom I became friends with while living in Garden Home.

Ken was the Superintendent of the Garden Home Water District in the years before he died in 1972. I believe Bill Norris was working for the water district at that time. Before Ken had the position as Garden Home Water District Superintendent it was held by Mr. Adolph Sutter and also, a Mr. Magee.

I was a cook at Garden Home School for 13 years. The children are my favorite memory of working at the school. They said I made great mac and cheese and cinnamon rolls, which they all seemed to like. My children and my grandchildren attended Garden Home School while I worked there.

In 1970 I transferred to work at Montclair Elementary School as the Manager of the Cafeteria. I worked there for 15 years and my grandchildren attended school while I was there.

Five years after Ken died I married Bob Sturtevant. In 1984 I moved to Portland and now live in the northeast part of the city.

A subject, which you may find interesting, is the fact that the area, which is now Stewart Street and Pitic Lane, was a cornfield when we bought our property there. The corn was used for cattle feed. I believe Maruggs, who had the dairy off of Oleson Road used it, but so did the Waldeles. I don’t remember what year Don Prairie developed that piece of land. Probably in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s. Billie and Chuck Marx were one of the first couples to move into one of the houses. Some of the other families who lived there were the Ross family, McCarthys, Ericksons and Cooks.

Reviewed by Virginia Vanture, March 2013

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