An icon passes: Longtime Squaw local Betty Walsh remembered as strong, community-minded
OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. and#8212; and#8220;God bless Betty; she was a pistol,and#8221; said Bill Jensen, owner of Granite Chief Communications, of Squaw Valley icon Betty Walsh. and#8220;She was part of a very glorious era of Squaw Valley, with Alex Cushing and the East coast crew. She worked at the Cal Neva during a glamorous era of Lake Tahoe. She was a joy to be around, with an infectious joie de vivre.and#8221;
Walsh, who will be remembered by friends and family as a strong woman who possessed an infectious, community-minded spirit, died Jan. 10, 2012. She was 83.
Betty was born Aug. 6, 1928, in Vancouver, Canada. She moved to Squaw Valley in 1958 and worked during the 1960 Olympics, living in the valley for 53 years. She loved being a part of the Squaw Valley community, friends and family said.
and#8220;We were neighbors on Forest Glen beginning in 1964. Betty was married to Jack Walsh. Our children (Christine, Rob and Lisa) grew up with Betty’s, sharing baby-sitting, snow shoveling, going to the pool, playing tennis,and#8221; said longtime Squaw Valley resident Jean Sproehnle. and#8220;Betty always sent super-wholesome nutritious food, way before it was in fashion, in the kids’ lunches and to ski races.
and#8220;We (with husband John) remember Betty working at Roos Atkins’ sport shop in Squaw, modeling, playing great tennis, sporting the best tan in the valley and spreading the and#8216;news’ and#8212; her nickname was Tom Tom and#8212; which she related to her best friends and#8230; usually at 7 a.m. Betty had a very active social life and we received many of her friend’s calls, since our telephone numbers were one digit apart. Betty was just great at everything she did, she had a great presence. Betty was a classic and will be greatly missed by many.and#8221;
Betty raised five children, two of whom and#8212; Lynn Jahanian and Billy Dutton and#8212; preceded her in death. Betty is survived by three children, Debbie Dutton, Brad Dutton and John Walsh; 12 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
and#8220;Billy Dutton was one of my Dad’s best friends, and so I met her (Betty) when I was really little,and#8221; wrote Squaw Valley Olympic skier Marco Sullivan. and#8220;I cannot say that I knew her well, but I was always surprised when I would see her in the Valley in recent years and she would say how proud she was of my ski racing success. The Walsh/Dutton family has a great legacy around the area and she left behind a great family that I am sure will continue to make her proud.and#8221;
Betty’s passing took place peacefully, with family and friends by her side. She loved swimming in the lakes and spending time with her grandchildren.
and#8220;The Dutton family has been a celebrated part of the Squaw Valley community for decades, and Betty was a central and beloved figure in the Squaw community for so very long,and#8221; said Squaw Valley CEO Andy Wirth. and#8220;All of us at Squaw mourn her loss but importantly look to join with the family in celebrating her life at Sunday’s service.and#8221;
A celebration of Betty’s life will take place 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 22 at the Olympic Village Lodge, 1901 Chamonix Place in Squaw Valley.