Obituary Betty Moore passed away peacefully on December 4th surrounded by family. Betty was a well-known educator for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District where she was committed to students and mentoring and supporting teachers. Mid-career as a teacher, she was selected by school superintendent Chuck Smith to participate in the first mentoring program for women to become school principals. She served as principal at Ft. Wainwright Elementary and Pearl Creek Elementary schools. She finished her career as Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education. In 1988 she was awarded the Outstanding Principal of the Year for Alaska by US Secretary of Education William Bennett in Washington, D.C. Betty was born November 25, 1934 in DeKalb, IL to Marion and Louise Whittaker, both of whom were educators. She was raised along the coast of western Oregon and upon finishing high school she headed to Fairbanks to attend the University of Alaska.
Looking across the campus square she spotted Walter Stevens, Han Gwitchin from Eagle, and told her friend, “I’m going to marry him,” even though they still had not met. They married in 1954. Betty and Walt had four kids, Walt graduated in Civil Engineering and Betty completed two years of college. They moved to Anchorage and after a tragic accident that took Walt’s life, Betty moved back to Fairbanks to complete her education at the University of Alaska. One person shared, “We were told to watch out for Betty, who was starting school here at UA. She’ll be coming here with four small children. And everyone did help out while she attended school.” She and her kids lived on campus. She juggled studies, feeding her kids, finding babysitters, and adjusting to a new life. Betty was hired by the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District and taught 3rd and 5th grade at University Park for a number of years before advancing in her career and the school district. During that time some students may remember her as Mrs. Johnson or Mrs. Farni. While she was principal at Pearl Creek School, one thing that was important to her was to know the name of each child in her school.
After retirement Betty married Ralph Moore, a friend for over 45 years. They lived in Walden and Johnstown Colorado, Fairbanks, and finally Anchorage. Betty is survived by her children Becky (Tim) Waggoner, Kathy (Clyde) Mayo, Jim (Mary Ann) Stevens and Brian (Barb) Stevens, niece Sophia Rustad (Jim) who was like a daughter and many nieces and nephews. Grandchildren Alyssa (Scott) Pulice, Joe (Christy) Waggoner, Ashly (Chad) Young, Jon Waggoner, Charlie Mayo, Clyde (Amelia) Mayo Jr., Amy (Aaron) Debruhl, Janine, Kristen and Tyler Stevens, Kris (Chad) Roberts, Jennifer (Kevin) Peterman, Dara (Scott) Doran, and Erika (Kaui) Enomoto. Great-Grandchildren Ashlynne and Olivia Pulice, Mike, Abby and Wyatt Waggoner, Lexon, Harlyn and Raelyn Young, Eli and Charlee Mayo, Ella Roberts, Brayden and Tyler Deweese, Kyana Doran, and Mehana and Kawai Enomoto. Betty was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Richard and Robert Whittaker, and her husband Walter Stevens and Ralph Moore.
A funeral will be held December 28th at 2pm at the University Presbyterian Church. A reception will immediately follow in the Binkley Room at Pike Lodge, where we hope her former students and many friends will join us and share their favorite memories of her. We are grateful to the staff and caregivers at the Fairbanks Pioneer Home.