Donald Leroy Bettencourt, 79, died peacefully at home on April 15, 2014.
Don was born in Oakland on Nov. 25, 1934, to his late parents, Joseph Bettencourt and Frances Armstrong. Don has lived in Sonoma for the past 70 years. When he moved to the Valley as a young boy, he was able to work on the family fig ranch, as well as other ranches.
Don was also a Boy Scout and attended in his uniform to the groundbreaking at Hanna Boys Center in 1948. As a teenager, he was a bus boy and dishwasher at the Sonoma Mission Inn.
At age 21, Don met the love of his life, Kay Tallman and then joined the National Guard for a six-month tour. Then Don and Kay got married, and Don stayed with the National Guard for six years; he left as an E-5 sergeant. Don worked at The Plywood Factory while in the National Guard, as well as helping out Duggan’s and Norrbom’s Ambulance from time to time. Don and Kay started their family and then he became a reserve officer for the Sonoma Police Department. A year later, he became a full-time officer. He then retired as a police lieutenant in 1990. Don had endless certificates and diplomas throughout his police career and each one tells a story. After wearing a uniform for 30 years you would often see daddy in a hunting, a 49er or his most favorite, tie-dye T-shirt.
Don was quite the outdoors man and had a display of deer horns dated as early as 1957, as Eagle Lake was his favorite hunting place since going as a young boy with his dad, which became a great passion of his. Don had other hobbies as well – camping, golfing, fishing, being a grandpa and loved his western movie; he would have called himself Shane from the movie “High Noon.”
He loved his family camping trips to Wrights Lake and if anyone has ever had his Portuguese breakfast you would understand why. Don took his RV out on trips and was a member of The Good Sam Group at one time.
Don was probably one of the biggest San Francisco 49er fans you will ever meet. He had a museum of anything 49er and was able to meet Joe Montana (which he was very proud of) and the many times Don would decorate his house with 49er banners and streamers for any big game!
There are no words to express on how Don was such a loving and caring husband to his late wife, Kay Bettencourt; and father to his late son, Steve Bettencourt (Kari); and his daughters, Caryn Bettencourt (Brad) and Kathy Bettencourt; and grandfather to Jason Menefee (Jamie) and Kyndra Menefee (Austin), and great-grandfather to Brooklyn Menefee.
Don also leaves behind some close relatives, as well as Joy Stovall and her family and friends. Special gratitude to his caregiver, Eddie who always called you Sir …
Thank you daddy for giving us the most humbling last six months and thanks for the last kiss and smile … and we will always remember to never turn our backs to the ocean … we will miss you!
Friends are invited to attend a celebration of life on Saturday, May 31, 2014, at 11 a.m., at Hanna Boys Center, 17000 Arnold Drive, Sonoma.
Any donations may be made to Hanna Boys Center.
Arrangements under the direction of Duggan’s Mission Chapel.