Virginia "Betty" Bissitt Launer passed away peacefully on July 27, 2017 at the age of 98.
Betty was born in Bucklin, Kansas on July 6, 1919, the fourth child of Frank and Bertha Bissitt. The Bissitt family moved to Garden Grove, CA when Betty was only 3 months old.
The family bought a ranch in Fullerton where they grew walnuts and oranges for many years. Betty attended Orangethorpe School and graduated from Fullerton Union High School, where she met her future husband, Leland "Lee" Launer.
Both Betty and Lee attended the University of Redlands, where Betty graduated with a degree in Education. While at Redlands, she was a member of Delta Kappa Psi sorority and crowned the University's Snow Queen. She taught physical education one year in La Habra before marrying in 1941.
During the war, Lee was an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and the young couple moved to Boston for Lee's Officer Training School. After Lee was deployed to the Pacific, Betty and young son Larry moved back to Fullerton to live with her extended family.
After the war, Betty and Lee continued to live in Fullerton with their expanding family. They had four children: Lawrence "Larry" Bissitt Launer of Rolling Hills, CA; Luanne Launer Kreutzer, of Bainbridge Island, WA; Leland "Lee" Convis Launer, Jr. of Tampa, FL; and Alan Eugene Launer of Mountain View, CA. Betty had 10 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
During her many years in Fullerton, Betty was active in The Assistance League of Fullerton, Fullerton United Methodist Church, and PEO.
Later in Newport Beach, Betty volunteered at the Sherman Gardens in Corona del Mar, and she and Lee both were active in the Newport Center United Methodist Church.
Lee and Betty traveled extensively, especially to Switzerland, where they visited frequently. They were members of a couples' club that had formed during the war years and continued to meet for bridge and dinner for more than 50 years.
Betty and Lee left Newport Beach and moved to Morningside of Fullerton in 2004, and spent the last of their years living in this retirement community where they had many old-time friends. Lee passed away in 2010, a year shy of Betty and Lee's 70th wedding anniversary.
Published in Orange County Register on Aug. 1, 2017.