December 17, 1930 – March 31, 2020
Services will be announced at a later date.
Betty Jean Toomb Phifer was born December 17, 1930 in Parma, Idaho to William and Bernice Toomb. She passed away March 31, 2020 in Richland, Wash.
With the exception of a couple of years spent in Genessee, Idaho, Betty grew up in the Kingman Kolony area north of Adrian. She graduated from Adrian High School in 1948. On June 17th, 1948 she married the love of her life, James Phifer, in the newly constructed Adrian Presbyterian Church. Their first home was in a little two room house in the back yard of her parents’ home. Their first daughter, Kathleen Denise, was born on May 29, 1949. She was not well from birth, but brought great joy to everyone around. She passed away in September of 1958. Their second daughter, Jeanette Louise, was born on August 11, 1950. Jim and Betty and their little family lived in Nampa, Idaho for a few years, but eventually returned to the Kingman Kolony area where they farmed and raised Jersey cows. In 1969 they sold the cows and rented out the farmland. Betty took a job working as a secretary with the Research Department of the Amalgamated Sugar Company in July of 1970. She retired from there after more than 22 years of service on January 1, 1993. Betty was a member of the Kingman Memorial Presbyterian Church from 1945 until 2004 and served as musician for almost that long. She was an accomplished pianist and organist and played for countless weddings, funerals and holiday services. Jim and Betty also served as 4-H leaders for several years and hosted 4-H exchange students from Japan and Korea. In 2004 Betty and Jim sold the farm and moved to Bandon, to be closer to their daughter Jan Freitag and her family. They lived there happily together until Jim passed away in January of 2015. Betty stayed there by herself for a few more years, enjoying friends and family. In 2018 she sold their home in Bandon and moved to Connell, Wash., to live with her grandson James Freitag and his family. She loved living with them and getting to watch their twin boys grow and play. Betty was a wonderful, warm, loving lady who didn’t know a stranger. Her home was always open to friends and loved ones that would come by to visit or stay for a bit. Family meant everything to her and it showed. She was an excellent cookie maker and it was one of the things she really missed doing as she got older. She liked to keep busy with her hands, often with crocheting. Betty didn’t travel far without her crochet bag and there are many people out there that have been recipients of her handiwork. She had a great sense of humor, even if it was at her own expense. Our Nanny was just simply the best, a true one of a kind who can never be replaced.
Betty is survived by her three grandchildren Connie (Steve) Roberts, James (Tiffany) Freitag, and Angela (Joe) Cowan; seven great-grandchildren Trevor (Megan) Roberts, Mattea Roberts, Zakary Roberts, Hunter Cowan, Kaden Freitag, Lucas Freitag, and Kendra Cowan; and two great-great grandchildren Kayden and Rylee Roberts; and generations of numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents William and Bernice Toomb; daughters, Kathy Phifer and Jan Phifer Freitag; son-in-law, Jerry Freitag; great-grandchild, Kara Cowan; aunt, Jeanette Martin; sister and brother-in-law, Dorothy and Vincent Scott; and her beloved husband Jim.
Arrangements are under the direction of Hillcrest Funerals and Cremation, 509-737-9717.
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