September 13, 1931 - September 8, 2021
On December 04, 2021 we celebrate the one of a kind life of Betty Karnette. She died on September 8th, just five days short of her 90th birthday. Betty was a three term Assembly member and a two term State Senator. She loved every minute of her tenure in the legislature. And she loved representing the people of Long Beach; she never wanted to live anywhere else. After working twenty plus years in the Los Angeles school district, she retired to run for her first public office. Her favorite idiom: "she wanted to get things done". Well she got herself elected in 1992 to represent LB in the state assembly. When she was narrowly defeated two years later, she decided to up her game and run for the state Senate. She got things done alright, two terms in the Senate and two more terms in the Assembly. She was termed out of both in 2008. Betty made it look easy. Well we all know it was not easy but she was determined. Betty Sue Petty epitomized the mid-century American Dream. She was born in the heart of the depression on September 13, 1931 in Paducah, Kentucky. Like many of that place and time she started with very little tangible resources. Through her sheer determination, get it done attitude and energizer-bunny-boots-on-the-ground hard work she made a one of a kind life that mattered to so many. As a teacher and active union officer, she changed things for students and teachers. As a politician she was fair and open minded. She wanted Long Beach and California to be and do better. Betty was an old school feminist, she didn't necessarily talk about it; she just did it. And what's more amazing, is that almost everyone liked her. She crossed the aisle many times but never compromised her convictions. Betty and Richard (her husband who died in 2016), had an unconventional partnership that obviously worked well for them. They were married for over 65 years. They traveled all over the world and throughout the U.S., starting in the 1950's in an old VW bug. Betty loved to drive, fast! She started running the rural roads of Kentucky at 12 years old on anything with an engine, including an unattended tractor or two. Betty was fun. She was also generous, a good friend, a wonderful aunt, a supportive sister and will be missed by so many. She had 90 eventful years and she was never boring! Survivors include her daughter Mary, her “little sisters” Barbara Hunt and Marie Woodall from Mobile AL and her brother Gene Bolte in Dyersburg TN. Also, her close “chosen” family: Ellen Green and Nancy Krusbe.
On December 04, 2021 we celebrate the one of a kind life of Betty Karnette. She died on September 8th, just five days short of her 90th birthday. Betty was a three term Assembly member and a two term State Senator. She loved every minute of... View Obituary & Service Information
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