Betty Marie Bessard

Betty Marie Bessard

Betty Marie Bessard, Centenarian

Bertha Weber Kraus

October 2, 2023 

Key to the City Recipient

The beautiful and effervescent Betty Bessard was born on October 2, 1923, in New Orleans, Louisiana where she developed her renowned southern cooking skills. She married and moved to San Francisco, California in the 1940’s during the second World War. She eventually moved to Fresno, California where, as a divorcee, she single-handedly raised four children who became successful in the education and law enforcement fields. 

Betty worked a wide variety of jobs in Fresno to support her children. After completing grueling studies to prepare herself for better employment, Betty was able to secure a position at the Internal Revenue Service where she became a crucial and respected part of the agency. She enjoyed her challenging career for many years, until she chose to provide full care for her disabled son, who enjoyed her loving service for more than two decades until he transitioned to the healing embrace of the Lord. 

Betty has been a resident of Elk Grove, California for more than a decade. She developed a strong love for national and international travel. In her early and mid-nineties, Betty relished her time spent in Paris, Florence, and Rome. When she was ninety-five years young, and without any walking aid, Betty traversed the cobblestone streets and bridges of Venice where she enjoyed another passion equal to travel, eating fine foods in fine restaurants.   

Betty has loved dance since she was a child performing acrobatic maneuvers for various audiences around New Orleans. At the tender age of ninety-nine, she was the featured dancer at a grandson’s wedding. She has no plans to stop. 

In all, Betty was blessed with 4 children, 7 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren. Every one of her grandchildren provides Betty with a special joy and sense of pride, and she enthusiastically tracks each in their individual endeavors. 

Betty’s church home is Living Stones Christian Reformed Church, whose pastor and members have provided her years of love, and spiritual growth. Betty exemplifies love and generosity. Her arms and heart are always open. Betty is truly an American success story.