BettyJo Stokoe, widow of Bill Stokoe, went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, February 23, 2013. Betty was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, February 12, 1931. She led a colorful life, full of adventure and travel. Betty was the daughter of Bob and Fay Elliott, who at the time were following the rodeo circuit from town to town during the difficult days of the Depression. She had a close-knit extended family that provided love and support for each other and gave her comfort for her entire life. Later, Betty's family settled in Buckeye, AZ where she finished her schooling and later married Leon Steves. She had her first and only child, Lynda in 1951. The young couple were separated by the Korean War and not soon after, divorced.
A few years later, she married Bill Stokoe, a railroad signalman for the Southern Pacific RR. They traveled all over Southern AZ, living in railroad-provided housing (a boxcar converted into living quarters). They lived everywhere from Yuma, AZ to Steins, NM, sometimes being parked out in the desert with no one else around. After five years of this pioneer living, they settled in Tucson for about 11 years. In 1968, Bill's job took them to Tehachapi, CA. They happily lived there for over 30 years. Betty fulfilled her dream of going to nursing school and worked as a nurse at Tehachapi Hospital for a few years. She fulfilled many of her childhood dreams of learning to ski, owning horses and traveling to Europe. After Bill's death in '99, Betty moved back to Tucson to be close to Lynda and her family. Betty became part of the Tucson Meadows community and made many friends who were very helpful during the last days of her life. Betty is preceded in death by her parents, Bob and Fay Elliott; her husband, Bill and granddaughter, Kelli Bailey Bonn. She is survived by daughter, Lynda Bailey; son-in-law, Dan Bailey; grandsons, Sean and Ryan Bailey and granddaughter, Cami Bailey Castle. A Memorial Service will be held at BRING'S BROADWAY CHAPEL, 6910 E. Broadway (in Tucson, AZ) on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers you may donate to your favorite animal charity in Betty's name.
It’s a pleasure and an honor to continue to serve as your President of Friends Of the Tehachapi Depot. I’m looking forward to successfully closing another FOTD fiscal year coming up on March 31st. Our good financial health is symbolic of our overall organizational health and prosperity. Many thanks to our great board of directors and all of our volunteers who work so hard to make the Depot the heart of Tehachapi.
We’re fortunate to have a dedicated team of people working at the Depot. The spirit of volunteerism is certainly alive and well in our town. Our docents, cashiers, work crew and supporters all do fine work to make our venue attractive and welcoming to our visitors. In order for us to continue to best serve our town and our visitors we need to hear from each of you. We benefit from your input, ideas and suggestions for improvements - so, please let us know what’s on your mind.
Our annual Membership Renew campaign is underway and we hope each of you by now has received your renewal notice in the mail. Thanks to those of you who have already completed and sent in your renewals. Our membership income forms a solid baseline toward our financial health.
Having a successful non-profit organization requires dedication and commitment from all of our volunteers. Our RR ‘Signals Crew’ continues to do good things for the Depot and can be found on Monday mornings working away to add to our signal displays and to shine up our museum artifacts. Thanks, guys for your ongoing dedication.
Please join us on the evening of March 12th at the Depot for our General Membership Meeting. We’ll update you on Depot activities and present you with an interesting railroad program. As always, we’ll enjoy some free refreshments and the company of fellow Depot lovers and rail fans.
See ya then,