Betty Thompson Fedje, beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed away Sunday, June 4, 2023, in Indian Wells, California at the age of 94. Born on December 22, 1928, the youngest daughter of Bessie and Gan Lonsdale Thompson, Betty grew up in Buhl, Idaho, loving music, playing piano and singing for hours a day.
She started college at Willamette University, where she met the great love of her life, Raymond Fedje, to whom she was married for almost 50 years at the time of his death. Together, they moved to Boston where she obtained her bachelor’s and master’s in music from Boston University. She performed regularly at various Boston locations such as the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Symphony Hall. She went on to direct a number of church choral and hand-bell choirs, as well as teach private voice lessons, and later direct choirs at the high school level for the majority of her career.
During her teaching career, she brought the concept of swing choir to Anchorage, Alaska and traveled extensively throughout the nation with her choir, winning a number of national contests. Additionally, she directed performances in Poland, England, Switzerland, France, and Germany, to name a few. One of the highlights of her life were the connections she made with her students, many of whom she stayed in touch with despite the years and miles between them. Knowing the profound impact she made on their lives through their shared love of music brought her great joy and happiness.
Besides her love of music, she loved to travel, and lived in many different places including a summer home in Barnstable, Massachusetts; a beautiful home on the hillside in Anchorage, Alaska; her dream home on the coast in Bandon, Oregon; and close to her daughter in Indian Wells, California, each holding a special place in her heart for the life-long friends she made while she was there.
In her retirement, she was an active participant of P.E.O. and joined her local Rotary Club. She continued her love of performance and directed a number of dinner theatres to raise money for Rotary. Her showcases involved members of the community and encouraged everyone to find their voice. These performances became a beloved event of the year at her favorite restaurant, Lord Bennett’s, somewhere you would often find her on Thursday evenings with a champagne cocktail and halibut dinner.
More than anything, she loved being with her family and was a huge part of the lives of the loved ones she leaves behind: her daughter, Bettyrae Easley; grandchildren, Lizza Apostola (Dimitri), and Louiza Easley (Addison); and great grandchildren, Samuel (12) and Theodore (7) Apostola. She also adored animals and leaves behind Sitka, her steadfast canine companion for the last 10 years. She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Fern Moore and Uletta Martin; and her husband, Ray.
Her intelligence and quick wit will be greatly missed, as will her readiness to sit down and play the piano whenever the mood struck. There could be no better way to honor her memory than by assisting those pursuing her two greatest passions: education and music. Betty’s family has started a Memorial Music Scholarship in her honor at her local Rotary Club, thus, in lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy can be made in Betty’s name to Bandon Rotary Club, P.O. Box 2176, Bandon-by-the-Sea, Oregon 97411.
A graveside service will be held at 10:00 am, Thursday, June 15, 2023, at the West End Cemetery, 1574 E 4150 N, Buhl, Idaho 83316.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Betty’s memorial webpage at www.farmerfuneralchapel.com.