Betty Jane Mullins Brown-Peterson, 103, died October 18, 2020, in Kennewick, Washington. Betty was born on the family homestead in Anatone, Washington, on May 8, 1917, to George and Eva Mullins. She was born premature and her mother died in childbirth. She was taken to Troy, Montana, by her grandmother and aunt (Lena Rives) to be raised.
Graveside services were October 23 at the Libby Cemetery.
In the 103 years Betty lived in Troy, she saw many changes. The town was a mining town, a lumber town and a railroad switching station. She was raised in the rooming house (Rives Court) owned by her Aunt Lena, who also owned the Windsor Hotel, the Great Northern Bar, and the Log Cabin Tavern. Betty saw the town go from a vibrant town with restaurants (Jack’s Café & the Palm Café), a barber shop, shoe store, appliance store, bank, car dealership, theatre, several bars and hotels, and gas stations and repair shops, to the few businesses there today.
She talked about when the Metler’s built the “Show Hall’ (Lincoln Theatre), the dance hall (Kensey’s Hall) on the second floor of the building where the Gambles store now stands, and the large dock where they used to dance at the “Linger Longer.” She told about Ben starting a band and needed a piano player so he went to June Burns’ dad to get permission for her to play (June was in high school).
Betty graduated from Troy High School in 1935. Her first date with Ben Brown was at the Linger Longer on Savage Lake. They were married in 1940 and they had four children. Ben and Betty built the Roadside Inn (now the Silver Spur) as Highway 2 was being constructed in front of it. Before this the highway ran through town and crossed the Kootenai bridge by the now city park.
In December 1951, Ben and their oldest son, Lewis (Buddy) drowned in a Savage Lake boating accident. Betty raised her three children alone with the help of the people in the Town of Troy. She married Robert (Bob) Peterson in 1984.
Betty was active in Takima Club, Friendly Club, Moose Lodge and Eastern Star throughout her life. She was the Troy United Methodist Women’s secretary for 27 years. Last year she had the honor of lighting the town Christmas tree and getting a ride home on the antique fire truck and said she’d like to do it again next year.
She is preceded in death by her husband Ben, son Lewis, and her second husband, Robert (Bob) Peterson.
She is survived by her three children; Margaret (Margie) Grimm, Judith Nielsen and Anthony (Tony) Brown, grandchildren Asyia Scott (Kirt), Bree Wolfe (Steven), J.J. Goldberg (David), Ben Grimm, Emily Brown (George), and Annette Abraham (Barry), step-grandsons Greg (Emily) and Dustin Johnson and great grandchildren Clara, Avery and Abby Scott; Holden, Hattie and Charlie Goldberg; Stephen and Reagan Wolfe; and Madison and Peyton Abraham.
Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby.