Union Democrat staff

Frances Elizabeth 'Bette' Airola

Feb. 12, 1926 - Nov. 22, 2012

Frances Elizabeth "Bette" Airola, of Angels Camp, died Nov. 22 at Foothill Village in Angels Camp. She was 86.

Mrs. Airola was born in Woodland to Samuel and Frances Fellows on Feb. 12, 1926. She grew up in Amador County where she attended Sutter Creek High School and met her future husband, Bill Airola.

They were married on July 11, 1943, and she graduated from Bret Harte High School in 1944.

They raised their three children on the family ranch in Carson Hill. She worked for the Virgil Airola Law Office and later at Calaveras Casuals in San Andreas. She also owned her own store, Country Elements, first in Murphys, then in Angels Camp.

She belonged to PTA, Calaveras-Tuolumne Cowbelles riding group and the Foothill Swingers Square Dance Club. Later in life, she was active with the Parkinson's Support Group in Tuolumne County and served as the group's contact person.

After her husband died in 2004, she remained on the ranch until January 2007, when she moved to Foothill Village.

Mrs. Airola is survived by her children and their spouses, Ginger and Clayton Rasmussen, Bill and Deloris Airola and Michael Airola, all of Angels Camp; grandchildren and their spouses, Jeff and Tracy Rasmussen, Greg and Mindy Rasmussen, and Kyle and Linda Rasmussen, all of Angels Camp, Kevin Rasmussen, of San Francisco, and Jason and Darian Airola and Steven and Corie Airola, of Oakdale, Jenny and Joey Kroon, of Farmington, Samantha and Jeff Isernhagen, of Escalon, Justin and Tyler Airola and Zachary and Matthew Airola, all of Angels Camp; and 16 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Angels Camp at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 7. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Parkinson's Institute, 675 Almanor Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085, or Hospice of Amador and Calaveras, 1500 S. Highway 49, Suite 205, Jackson, CA 95642.

Angels Memorial Chapel handled arrangements.


GORGAS - Kathleen Gorgas, 55, of Jamestown, died Wednesday at Sonora Regional Medical Center. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.