Betty Velotta Cline

November 22, 1929 - February 24, 2022

Betty Cline passed away peacefully on February 27, 2022 at her home in Bellevue surrounded by family and love. As she wanted, she spent her last night at home singing church hymns, telling stories, and reciting the Holy Rosary. She lived the last few months under the care and attention of her ten children, their spouses, twenty-four grandchildren, their spouses, and six great-grandchildren.

Betty Rose Velotta was born in Owensboro, Kentucky on November 22, 1929 to her parents, Mary Alice Stalling and Nicholas Joseph Velotta. Betty grew up the fourth oldest of eleven children. As the only girl, she enjoyed joining her ten brothers playing baseball, kick the can, and hide and seek.

She began her love of learning at an early age – reading on top a platform in the tree in her backyard. Her Catholic Faith was a key part of her life as she attended St. Frances School. She attended daily mass nearby at St. Stephen’s Cathedral and would continue this devotion her entire life.

She learned to play the piano from her ‘second mother’ and mentor, Sr. Agnes Celestine in exchange for light dusting of her books. This is where she first happened upon her treasured Anne of Green Gables stories.

After completing nurse training with friends in Indiana and a year as an RN in her hometown hospital, she joined the Army Nurse’s Corps as a 2nd Lieutenant. Her first assignment was Camp Cooke California.

At church, Betty noticed a young soldier in uniform serving mass. This was Francis “Bud” Cline, who Chaplain Father Nagle introduced to Betty after mass. Frank’s devotion to his faith as he served mass every day, made quite an impression on her.

A few weeks later, it was with sadness and joy that she welcomed him as her new patient the night of his collapse on the field due to a severe asthma attack. During his two-month stay in the hospital, their friendship blossomed. They were engaged within a surprising three months. Betty said it was the Blessed Mother who brought them together, but her brothers and family needed a bit more convincing. However, they were married in Owensboro, KY on April 11, 1953.

Betty then attended school with Bud at Seattle University, and it was here they had their first son, John. Betty graduated Cum Laude in 1958 with a BS in nursing while also taking care of three children under the age of four with one on the way. Their family continued to grow from there.

They then settled in Bellevue, Washington, where there were new affordable houses being built. This became their lifetime home and a favorite gathering place for many relatives, friends, and neighbors.  They were thrilled when her brother, Paul, and family joined them in Washington in 1960.

Frank and Betty were proud to be founding members of St. Louise Parish, where their children attended school. She continued to be an active member of Saint Louise Parish until the end.

Betty successfully managed their increasing household on a teacher’s salary. She shared her tips for this work with a support group of other large Catholic families called “The Pink Feathers.” The only criteria for entry was to have at least six children.

Betty went back to work in 1972 at Evergreen Hospital when the youngest, Carolyn, turned 3. She worked evening and night shifts, so that she and Bud, along with the older children, could take turns at home. These extra hours at work helped support the children’s education through catholic school and the college years. In 1979 she began working at Boeing, where she became a certified EMT and paramedic.

Throughout all these years, Betty offered family and friends a place in her house. In the mid 1970’s her mother and father came to stay for an extended visit and a kitchen was added into the basement. This basement apartment later became a second home for many of her children and their families during their own transitions.

In 2015, Bud passed away. Betty was grateful that his last days were spent at home surrounded by family, song, and prayer.

Betty found new connections with a nurse group at Church, and she increased her time spent sewing, creating fashionable “Betty Bags” and more blankets for the ever-increasing Cline Clan.

She was living independently until the very end. She continued her daily mass coffee group, as well as daily visits and card games with her dear friend, Mary Steele.

She was very close to her older brother Paul Velotta, and both would tell stories of growing up together. In these last two years, she cherished weekly zoom calls with her 10 children, with occasional cameos from grandchildren and other family members.

She loved when her home was full. Just this past Christmas, Betty welcomed 37 children and grandchildren into the house, and more than 24 stayed the whole weekend along with their many dogs.

After coming home from recent hospital stays, Betty’s children and grandchildren gathered at her home of over 60 years to bid her goodbye. Her last day was beautiful – full of faith, family, music, prayer, stories, tears and laughter.

Betty passed in her sleep February 27, at 4 am. Betty will be remembered for her wise words, kind smile, tight hugs, and making everyone feel that they belonged, mattered, and were loved. Her love and joy were her family, friends, and faith.

While we miss her very much here on earth, we take comfort in knowing that she is resting peacefully in heaven watching over us all.  Betty is survived by her 10 children John (Jenny), Therese (David), Pat, Cecilia (Rob), Gerard (Darcy), Kevin, Marianne (David), Ken (Kristin), David (Siri), Carolyn (John), her 24 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.