Obituary | Betty Kilburn: 1933 ~ 2019

Betty Mae (Edwardsen) Kilburn departed this world on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, in San Luis Obispo, Calif., at the age of 85.
Betty was born November 12, 1933, in Dinuba, Calif., to Edward F. and Marie Edwardsen, the second of four children. The Edwardsens soon moved to Three Rivers, Calif., where they opened a butcher shop, grocery store, and restaurant.
Betty lived an idyllic childhood in Three Rivers, playing in the hills and along the Kaweah River with family and lifelong friends. She attended Three Rivers Union School before graduating from Woodlake Union High School in 1951.
In 1950, while still in high school, she met R.S. “Bud” Kilburn at the Woodlake Drugstore counter and after a bit of flirting, a lifelong love story was born. Bud and Betty married two years later, settled in Woodlake, and soon had three children: Ann, Lisa and David.
After the kids were all in school, Betty worked as the office manager of the University of California Lindcove Experimental Field Station for several years before finally retiring to work in her lovely yard, further explore the world, and simply enjoy her friends and family.
Betty was preceded in death by the love of her life and her husband of 58 years, Bud Kilburn; her parents, Ed and Marie Edwardsen; and two brothers, Edward and Charles Edwardsen.
She is survived by her sister, Christina Edwardsen of Visalia, Calif.; her daughter Ann of Davis, Calif., and granddaughter Kelly Baker of Sacramento; her daughter, Lisa and son-in-law Jim Maino of San Luis Obispo; and her son, David, and son-in-law David Perez of Atascadero.
While Betty spent last eight years bravely battling the ravages of Parkinson’s disease and related other ailments, she never, ever lost her zest for life. She loved gardening, hiking, cooking, and generally making others happy. At the Kilburn house, there was always an extra bed if someone needed it, another place at the table if someone was hungry, a glass of wine and a comfortable chair if someone needed to talk, and generally a hug and a kiss for everyone else.
Her love of life knew no bounds whether it was hiking the Mineral King mountains and trails, walking through wildflowers with her granddaughter while Bud snapped his inevitable pictures, working in her beautiful yard, getting the family together for the holidays (even if she DID have a chronic problem with burning the dinner rolls), or taking trips to Tahoe, Mexico, Denmark, Greece, France, Portugal, and more with family and friends, our lady was always up for an adventure.
Betty was a strong and supportive spouse, parent, grandmother, aunt, cousin, and friend. Her love, strength, and compassion were always on display, whether fiercely fighting for LGBTQ rights, helping friends receive fair treatment in ongoing immigration battles, or simply helping out others who were less fortunate.

Spider lilies that Betty gave to many as gifts. They bloomed in EVERYONE’S yards the week she died.

Just like the flowers she shared that continue to grace the yards of family, friends, and neighbors, Betty will forever live in our hearts and continue to bloom, season after season, in the memories of all those she touched.
A memorial celebration will be held in near future in San Luis Obispo; details to follow. In the meantime, you might consider carrying out an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for someone down on his or her luck, in Betty’s name. That would make her smile that gorgeous smile of hers.

7 thoughts on “Obituary | Betty Kilburn: 1933 ~ 2019

  • October 31, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    We miss you, Mom. Knowing that you and Dad together again make it a little less painful that you are gone. I love you.

    • November 1, 2019 at 7:01 pm

      I’m so sorry. This is the first I heard. I loved Betty and I love all you kids. I really loved Betty. We talked a lot in past years. What a lovely woman. I feel so blessed to have been her friend.

  • October 31, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    Peace out Mom. We’ve got it handled down here…you and Dad get back to watching Letterman with Shorty in Heaven. We miss you all.

  • October 31, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    Well said Young Lady.
    Your Mom, & Dad are proud of you

  • October 31, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    Years ago when my mom was in hospice, Betty stopped by to visit with her. It was unexpected, but so very much appreciated. Yes! I will proudly carry out a random act of kindness specifically in memory of your mom. Love you Lisa.

  • October 31, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    Betty Bae,
    You had such a wonderful beautiful soul. The world needs more people like you. Thank you for allowing me to spend the time I did with you teaching me all kinds of things as a young woman. God knew I needed you in that chapter of my life and I am forever grateful to you. My love and prayers go to your family sending my condolences to Lisa and David.

  • November 3, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    David-Such a beautiful tribute to your lovely mother. You are such a kind and compassionate soul- it seems you inherited this from your Mom. Much love to the best neighbor ever!!!! Love, Barb and Bill


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