Betty Jean Wofford Juhnke was born on July 26, 1927, in Taft, and passed away on Jan. 3, 2018, at home in Paso Robles at the age of 90.
Betty was raised by her grandparents, Frank and Adeline Butcher. “Everything I hold dear, I learned from my grandmother: strong values, an undying work ethic, and an intense and lifelong commitment to marriage and family.” She spent her childhood in Los Angeles, attending Budlong Avenue Elementary School and Horace Mann Junior High, where two special teachers nurtured her and ignited her lifelong love of sports.
Betty enrolled at Atascadero High School in 1942 and lived in the onsite dorm. She was involved in many activities including sports, cheerleading, GAA, and CSF. She was a phenomenal athlete who was recruited to play semi-pro softball at the age of 13. During this time Betty developed a lifelong friendship with her teacher and mentor Ruth Doser, an icon at Atascadero High.
Betty enrolled at UCLA in 1945 where she majored in physical education and minored in math. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1949 and earned her teaching credential in 1950. It was in a graduate seminar that Betty’s life changed forever when she met her husband, Warren Juhnke. Betty and Warren were married on Aug. 24, 1951, at Hollywood Presbyterian Church, beginning a beautiful journey that would last for 66 years.
Betty began her teaching career at Glendale High School, where she taught for three years before taking a hiatus to raise her three children. The young family moved from Canoga Park to Rolling Hills Estates in 1963.
Betty resumed her teaching career in 1968 at Stephen White Junior High in Carson. She taught physical education for six years before moving to the counseling office and simultaneously obtaining her counseling certificate. Betty served as the Dean of Students for six years before retiring in 1985.
Following retirement, Betty and Warren started a memorable chapter of their lives with an expanding family, as their children were married and their grandchildren were born. They moved to Templeton in 1988 and spent the next 30 years on many exciting adventures throughout the world and at home with each other, their children and grandchildren, and innumerable church mates and friends. Although Betty’s first love was always her family, she also was passionate about sports, the outdoors, and the Bruins.
Betty is survived by her beloved husband Warren, daughter Linda Nursement (Earl), son Dave Juhnke (Sharon), daughter Sue Molina (Chris), and grandchildren Heather Nursement (Jeff Brandon), Drew and Chris Juhnke, and Stephanie and Staci DiLucca. The entire family would like to thank the wonderful staffs at Brookdale Paso Robles and Twin Cities Community Hospital ICU for the loving, compassionate care that Betty and Warren received during her final days on earth, and we take comfort in the fact that Betty is now at peace and reunited with the grandmother she loved so dearly.
The family held a private graveside service, and a celebration of Betty’s life will be held at Plymouth Congregational Church in the near future. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Betty’s memory be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.