Remembering Elizabeth Jane Spry, 1926-2020

Family and friends are remembering Elizabeth Jane Spry, and sharing this with her community:

Elizabeth (Bette) Spry passed away on August 16, 2020, at the age of 93 at her home in West Seattle with family by her side.

Bette was born on September 28, 1926, in Omaha, NE to Frank and Margaret Swinarski. Bette’s father emigrated from Poland, and her mother was born in Ashton, NE. One of six children growing up during the Great Depression, Bette enjoyed ice skating on cold Nebraska days and spending time with her family. After graduating from high school, Bette went to work to support the war effort. During World War II, she worked for the Glenn L. Martin Bomber Plant as a timekeeper. Bette loved dancing and she met her future husband, Al, while dancing in one of Omaha’s lively ballrooms in the 1950s.

On July 16, 1955 they were married at Immaculate Conception Church in Omaha, NE. Shortly thereafter, they moved to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where they settled in West Seattle and raised four children.

Bette was a member of the Highland Park Improvement Club in West Seattle, where she and Al regularly participated in monthly dances, and she served terms as Vice President and Secretary. Bette, with Al, knew how to “cut the rug” when it was time to dance. Bette was a devout Catholic and a founding member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, where she helped it grow from its humble beginnings in the school basement to the current church it is today. An active volunteer, she was a member of the church guild, participating in many Parish activities and charitable events.

Bette enjoyed traveling. She and her family made many road trips back to Omaha with the family dog, Cricket, in tow, taking detours to National Parks and other destinations along the way. An international trip with dear friends took her through many of the great cities of Europe, with the highlight for Bette being attending the Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany.

Bette was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother and will be greatly missed. She had a sharp mind and kind heart and never forgot a birthday or anniversary. She was also a loyal friend throughout her lifetime and enjoyed organizing dinner parties and having coffee with friends. Bette is survived by her husband, Al, of 65 years, her children Paula Buty (Kim), Sandra Scatena (Brian), Stephen Spry (Brandy) and Michael Spry (Mary Kay), grandchildren (Mitchel Spry, David Spry, Rocco Buty, and Katherine Spry) and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral mass will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in West Seattle. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, attendance will be limited. A private interment will follow at Tahoma National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be sent to St. Martin de Porres or St. Vincent de Paul.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

4 Replies to "Remembering Elizabeth Jane Spry, 1926-2020"

  • Alki resident August 30, 2020 (9:06 pm)

    Steve and Brandy, Mitchell and David, I’m so sorry for your loss. I miss you all. Kari Sabye

  • KayK August 31, 2020 (7:27 am)

    So sorry to hear about Bette. We were so honored to get to know her, and always admired her contributions to the HPIC community. Condolences to Al and family.

  • John Nuler August 31, 2020 (11:30 am)

    Bette has been the type of neighbor people move to West Seattle in hopes of living next door to.  We were lucky and have had the fortune of  Bette and Al as neighbors  for nearly a quarter century.  She will be long remembered as the type of person that defined our community and created legacies (HPIC  & OLG).   Condolences to the Spry, Scatena and Buty families.

  • Geoff August 31, 2020 (5:01 pm)

    I was fortunate to meet Bette at Our Lady of Guadalupe. What a special, beautiful person. Bette always made it a point to say hi and update me on what was going on with her family. We found we were both from Nebraska so we had that to share. 

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