Betty Lee Ekema

Betty Lee Ekema, 92, died March 26, 2021, in Yucaipa. Betty was born in Indiana to Kenneth and Violet Davis.

When she was a young girl, she moved with her family to California. They settled in San Bernardino. Betty attended San Bernardino schools and graduated from San Bernardino High School in 1946. She was active in the drama department in high school and later became a member of the San Bernardino High School Alumni Association and helped with many events.

Betty married Byron D. Ekema and the couple settled in Redlands. She worked at Crafton Elementary School as a special eduction aide and loved working with children. She also worked for General Telephone Company, where she eventually retired from.

Betty always displayed an artistic talent and belonged to the Yucaipa Valley Art Association. She won several awards over the years.

She also loved taking her dogs for walks and striking up conversations with her neighbors. She always said how fortunate she was to have such kind people to talk to.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, son Tom and her sister Mary Katherine.

She is survived by her children, Larry Ekema of Redlands; Nancy (Herb) Bunker of Yucaipa; five grandchildren, Matt Vander Veen, Chad Vander Veen, Josh Vander Veen, Andrew Ekema and Jill Koelling, and seven great-grandchildren.

A private service was held at Hillside Cemetery in Redlands on April 12. Pastor Scott Elgersma from the River Church (Betty’s home church) in Redlands was the officiant.