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Beloved Ada Baetkey, Parkrose resident, passes away


Ada A. Baetkey
Parkrose resident Ada A. Baetkey died April 20 of natural causes. She was 96.

Ada Harpt was born July 5, 1911, in Boise, Idaho to Henry and Lula Harpt.

Her family moved to Emmett, Idaho, where she graduated from Emmett’s high school. She then attended a teaching school in Lewiston, Idaho, graduating with a teaching degree. She returned to Emmett, where she taught grades one through eight in a one-room schoolhouse.

Ada married Henry Baetkey of Emmett on Nov. 29, 1937. She gave up her teaching career to become a wife and mother as Henry, a federal government employee, was transferred to positions throughout the U.S. The couple made Portland their permanent home in 1955. Henry preceded Ada in death in 1993.

Ada and Henry Baetkey were longtime active members of Parkrose United Methodist Church, with Ada in United Methodist Women. In addition, Ada taught Sunday school and served the church in a variety of ways.

She was involved in the American Field Service, the League of Women Voters and the Intercultural Society, among other worthwhile organizations.

Ada and Henry were named together as the Neighbor of the Year for the first Mid-county Memo Community Awards in 1988.

Ada is survived by her daughter, MaryLu Baetkey of Portland; son David of Pendleton, Ore.; grandson Lance Baetkey of Navato, Calif., along with great-grandchildren Caroline and Matthew Baetkey; and many nieces and nephews.

MaryLu said her mom was not only active in local parent-teacher associations; she also tutored local elementary school students. MaryLu said her mom was very supportive of Henry’s work on the Parkrose School District board of directors.

Of her mother, MaryLu said, “She believed it was the responsibility of each generation to support the generation coming up.” Teaching was — and still is — a Baetkey family tradition, with Ada, MaryLu, David and Lance’s wife, Kerri, all teachers.

Both Ada and Henry Baetkey “tried to never miss a sporting event that involved their grandson Lance” said MaryLu.

Ada was also a regular visitor to patients at the former Morningside Hospital in Southeast Portland, bringing a smile and good cheer.

A memorial service was held May 23 at Parkrose United Methodist Church. Funeral arrangements were by Gateway Little Chapel of the Chimes. Remembrances can be made to either the Parkrose Educational Foundation,, or to an Alzheimer’s research group.
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