Elizabeth “Betty” Ann Javens, 90, passed away on March 23, 2021. She was born December 20, 1930, in Glendale, California, to Doris and Charles Rolens. Following graduation from Eugene High School in 1948, Betty worked as a secretary and event planner at the San Francisco Museum of Natural History. In 1957 she married the love of her life, Eugene “Gene” Merlyn Javens, her husband of 49 years.
Betty was elegant and adventurous. She and Gene were lifelong lovers of jazz, and together they built a home full of music, art, and books. A season ticket holder to Portland Center Stage, she enjoyed regular outings to Portland to see performances with her theatre group. Kind, patient, and caring, Betty brought out the best in those she knew, and over her life she gathered a unique and loyal group of friends.
Betty and Gene traveled extensively, crisscrossing the country by train and exploring the deserts of the Southwest in their camper van. Together with their dogs they returned numerous times to Anza Borrego and Bow Willow Canyon. In her later years, Betty voyaged further afield, making trips to Tanzania, Madagascar, London, Paris, Amsterdam, and the Galapagos Islands.
A lifelong dog owner and longtime dog walker at the Humane Society, Betty was a strong advocate for animal rights. She also cared passionately about a women’s right to choose, giving generously to that cause and others, including homeless rights, food banks, local jazz radio, and the Salem arts community.
Betty is preceded in death by her husband, Gene, her parents, Doris and Charles, and her sister, Doris L. Rolens. She is survived by James Colton Javens of Seattle; Joel and Becky Javens of Freedom, Pennsylvania; Evelyn Whitlatch of Beaver, Pennsylvania; James David Javens of Seattle, Washington; Gerard Barton of Seattle, Washington; and her loving and devoted dog, Jenny.
Betty’s ashes will be interred with her husband’s in Pennsylvania, as well as spread in Tanzania
and Bow Willow Canyon. Betty requested no services and that in lieu of flowers, please donate financially or with your time to your favorite charity.