Betty Schepers ’55 Scholten

On Sunday, October 30, Betty Lou Scholten took her last breath in this world at the Providence Portland Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. She was eighty-eight years old. Betty, also known by her Buddhist name Reiyu, was preceded in death by her husband of forty years, John, and sister-in-law, Nancy. She is survived by her brother Maury; four children, Maribeth, Franz, David, and Steve; grandchildren Paul, Emily, and Katie, Keita, and Sachi; great-grandchildren Leanna and T.J., daughters-in-law Angela and Maki, brother-in-law Jay, nieces and nephew Laurie, Carol, Natalie, Nicole, and Allen, and many, many friends.

Betty grew up in Holland, Michigan, and met her husband John while they were both studying music at Hope College. She was a gifted musician, talented athlete, dedicated social activist, and teacher par excellence, both in words and action. She was a hearty and intrepid soul, riding her bicycle around Portland until just last year. She cared for her family and friends in many ways, sharing her great gifts of faith, truth, and loving-kindness.

Betty was an intense spiritual seeker who sacrificed much to ask life’s most important questions. This journey took her from Michigan to Pennsylvania to New York to El Salvador, from Washington, DC to Iraq, using her body as a shield as the U.S. bombs rained down on Baghdad. She ended up in Oregon, where she found a deeply meaningful spiritual practice in Zen Buddhism. While living at the Great Vow Zen Monastery, she inspired many practitioners with her steadfast spirit and unflagging dedication, and taught many to sew at ZenWorks. She married her quest for truth with a heart that demanded justice, and was active in fighting poverty and racism, while also striving relentlessly to purify her own heart and mind. In her down time, she loved to read, play the recorder, play cards with friends, and listen to music.

Return to Current In Memoriam