Betty Jean Kolstoe

Betty Jean Kolstoe

December 18, 1927 - December 25, 2016

Betty Jean Kolstoe

December 18, 1927 - December 25, 2016


Betty Kolstoe passed away quietly in her sleep on Christmas Day – 2016. She was an extraordinary individual – accomplished in her own right and a pioneer as a woman working in the field of higher education.

A native Californian – Betty was born on December 18, 1927 to Edgar Pearce and Dana McCoy. She developed a love of the seashore and the California temperate climate at an early age. 

While in school the family moved to Estes Park, Colorado from where she graduated High School and then to Sterling, Colorado where she attended Junior College, became a cheerleader and earned a temporary teaching certificate. Her first job in education was in a one-room rural school complete with an outhouse – where she also held the janitorial duties. 

Through summer school and correspondence courses she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado State College which is now the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) then continued her education earning a Masters Degree from the University of Denver and her Doctorate from UNC.

While teaching at Northern Colorado she designed a Masters Degree program for her fellow teachers, was a consultant-expert to the U.S. Office of Education in Washington D.C. and served as the National President of the International Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). But her contributions and accomplishments didn’t end there. 

She was initiated as a member of Theta Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi which is an honor Society in Education and was recognized for her accomplishments by receiving from the University of Northern Colorado the Trailblazer Award and named an Outstanding Alumni of University of Northern Colorado during the same decade. Her final distinguishing notoriety in education came when she was named Professor Emeritus of Special Education after leaving UNC.

Retiring from education didn’t slow Betty down. She moved back to California with her husband, best friend and soulmate Oliver Kolstoe. They celebrated 44 years of blissful marriage traveling to many parts of the world enjoying golf, museums, the theatre, family and friends. But her work-life wasn’t over…

In California she became a realtor for Coldwell Banker specializing in serving the residents of Laguna Woods..earning Realtor of the Year Award while also serving on numerous clubs and boards throughout the area including President of the Saddleback Memorial Hospital Associates, President of the Women’s Gold Club and President of the California Club. She joined Laguna Woods Properties in 2002 and had recently re-invented herself one more time joining the team at Laguna Premier Realty.

Betty was a loving mother and grandmother, accomplished educator, spirited realtor and loved by family and friends in Laguna Woods. She was a go-getter until the end. She had a zest for life, traveling, spending time with family and participating in activities in her local community.

Predeceased by Oliver, Betty is survived by her four children: Janice Hecht, Kathleen Schlom, Brad Kolstoe and Nancy Fairchild….six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

A memorial service and Celebration of Life for Betty will be held at 11:00am, Saturday, January 21st, at the Geneva Presbyterian Church, 24301 El Toro Rd, Laguna Woods. There will be a reception immediately following the service.

In lieu of flowers, Betty’s wish was to have donations sent to the:

Oliver and Betty Kolstoe Special Education Scholarship Fund
UNC Foundation – Judy Farr Alumni Center 
Campus Box 20
Greeley, CO 80639

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