The world’s best Nana, mom, and wife passed away December 5, 2023, at the age of 71. Bette Gauthier will be missed by her family, friends, former students and beloved animals. Her husband and best friend of 40-plus years, Larry, will be working on a honey-do-list that she left behind, keeping up with the grandkids, and missing her daily. Her children, Jason (Megan) and Katie (Ryan), will both carry on her legacy of being kind, strong, and big-hearted.
Born (12/6/51) in Missouri to her dear parents, Kendall and Marge Palmer, Bette’s love for animals started at a young age with a Beagle named Jingles that she and her siblings, Bob, John, and Patti all adored. Spending most of her life in Colorado, that’s where she met her husband Larry, and the two cared for dozens of animals at their home in Franktown.
To say she was an animal lover would be a strong understatement. Bette cared for numerous horses, donkeys, goats, dogs, cats, birds, and other pets over the years, most of them rescued. She had a heart for animals and gave them the best home with the best care in the world. Her love of animals was passed along to her son. Bette also loved riding horses and competing at shows with her daughter.
In recent years, Bette became an avid dog agility member. She spent her weekdays training her beloved rescue dogs and border collies, and her weekends competing or volunteering in the ring. Bette had so much fun with her new hobby, alongside her friends. She always carried a pocket full of dog bones for her furry friends.
Bette was a longtime school teacher, retiring from Franktown Elementary after teaching for around 30 years. She especially loved teaching math and social studies, making two of the most difficult subjects to learn about become more fun for her students. She is loved by a myriad of former students across Douglas County. She also enjoyed book clubs with her former educator coworkers and will be missed by so many.
Bette and Larry loved spending time outdoors. After retirement, the two didn’t slow down, and could be found riding motorcycles, mountain biking, competing in races to support a good cause, and hiking in the beautiful hills of Colorado.
“Palmer” also kept in touch with her dear Alpha Phi sisters over the years. She loved sharing fun stories and the lasting friendships she had with her sorority sisters.
Even with a Masters degree, Bette’s greatest title was given to her a few years ago when she became “Nana”. She spent every week dotting on her two granddaughters, Ryler and Lylah, taking them to get ice cream, playing outside, reading books, building crafts, going to the movies, and making cookies together.
If you knew Bette, you knew that she would do anything to help others. She was always going above and beyond to make a difference in someone’s life, even in the smallest of ways. She would think of things no one else would think of in order to help her friends and family. She would be there for you at the drop of a hat, and bring a goodie bag full of things that you “just might need”. She was extraordinary at making you feel loved and special, a rare trait that came natural for her.
As her granddaughter says, Nana turned to glitter and sparkles and is now in Heaven surrounded by her dogs and family. She is missed fiercely by her husband, loved ones, and all who knew her.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been set up at the Credit Union of Colorado under her daughter, Katelyn Pelton’s account name. There will be a casual dessert and iced tea get-together in her honor at the Pikes Peak Grange on Highway 83 in Franktown on Sunday, December 17 from 1-3 p.m. where her family would love to share fond stories about her with all of her friends.
“It takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal.” -Joaquin Phoenix