2005 February 11


Riverside, California

Good afternoon, my name is John Plocher and I have been asked by the family to speak to you. I am grateful for this opportunity to say a few words to you today.

I am humbled and feel blessed to say some heartfelt remarks about Bette and provide some consoling thoughts to family and friends.

The first time that my wife Leisa and I met Bette was at a parent teacher conference. Frankly, we were worried about what she might say about our oldest son John Martin. To say the least, during this stage of his life he was a handful. To our delight the report was glowing and positive. It was not that John Martin had changed but that Bette had seen through the rough exterior and had focused on the positive and good that was in our son. She helped build his self esteem. John Martin had the best year ever.

The other night we were talking about Sister Pinkerton as she is fondly known as in our family. Kate who is now 20 remembered that Bette always had matching shoes and purses for all her outfits. Indeed Bette was a classy lady.

Our son Todd told us that he is grateful to Sister Pinkerton for the great organizational skills that she taught him, which helped him, and prepared him for his future. You can't believe how disorganized he was. Indeed, Bette helped Todd to become a great student.

Although on ly three of our six children had Bette as a teacher, she impacted those three children in wonderful ways.

I recall shortly after Dale's stroke that I had a group of young men over to the Pinkerton's house to wash their windows. I remember we had about 15 young men and the work went quickly. When we finished one of the young men came up to me and said, "Why did we wash their windows?" I took the question to be a question of why would we do service for these people. However, he explained to me that the windows were so clean that they didn't need to be washed. Bette's house was always immaculate and indeed the windows didn't need to be cleaned.

Our family got the biggest kick out of Bette because whenever a student mentioned the word Utah the whole class had to stand up and put their hand over their hearts symbolizing her love for her home state of Utah. In our family when we say the word Utah we all jokingly stand and put our hand over our heart and give hale to the state of Utah.

It wasn't until I was called as her home teacher that my relationship with Bette and Dale deepened and we became good friends. In the Mormon faith each family is assigned a man who watches over the family. Almost ten years ago I was assigned to the Pinkerton family. Once a month and sometimes more I had the privilege to visit, talk, help and become friends with Bette, Dale and their family.

So it is with a heavy heart that I stand here today.

The scriptures plainly teach us to role model our Savior Jesus Christ. He invites us to, "Come follow me." Christ also in the Book of Mormon asked the question, "Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily, I say unto you, even as I am." Bette followed the Savior. Let me tell you why I believe this. The Savior loved children. In one instance people were bringing children to him to be blessed. However, His disciples rebuked those who brought them. Now listen carefully to what Christ's reaction was to the disciples stopping the children from coming to Him. "But when Jesus saw it he was much displeased, and said unto them, suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbade them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."

If there is one trait that fully characterizes Bette it would be that she loves children, her life is and was filled with children. On many, many occasions she talked of her love for her children and her grandchildren. Truly Bette exhibits Christ like qualities. Countless children including her grandchildren have been and are touched bythe goodness of Bette. In numerous ways she effects for good the lives of children.

My wife's dear friend Cindy Peterson upon hearing what had happened was greatly saddened, but the memories of Bette come to mind as she said, "Mrs. Pinkerton was the first to teach her the New York Hustle while at Castle View." Bette is a remarkable and talented person.

I overhead in a recent conversation Bette's name being used in the past tense. May I comment on this.

I bear you my solemn testimony that Bette lives and that we as her friends and family will see her again one day.

We know that death comes to all mankind, we cannot escape it's sting. It comes to th aged as they walk on faltering feet. Its' summons is heard by those who have scarcely reached midway in life's journey, and often it hushes the laughter of little children. Death is one tragic fact that not one of us can escape or deny.

Someone said, "Death is not a period, but merely a comma."

The prophet Alma in the Book of Mormon tells us about our immediate life after death. "Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection--behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the sprits of all men and women as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men and women, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life. And then shall it come to pass that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow."

Bette is in this place that we call paradise.

There is great comfort that comes from hearing these words. Le me share with you an analogy which can help us to understand that "life is eternal and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon, and a horizon is nothing save the limits of our sight."

In a beautiful blue lagoon on a clear day, a fine sailing-ship spreads its brilliant white canvas in a fresh morning breeze and sails out into the open sea. We watch her glide away magnificently through the deep blue and gradually see her grow smaller and smaller as she nears the horizon. Finally, where the sea and the sky meet, the ship moves form sight; and someone hear me says, "There, she is gone!"

Gone where? Gone from fight--that is all. She is still as large in mast and hull and sail, still just as able to bear her load. And we can be sure that, just as we say, "There, she is gone!" Another says from the other side, "Look, here she comes!"

In closing, let me quote John 11, "I am the resurrection and the life, said Jesus Christ, He that believeth in me (I know that Bette believes in Jesus Christ--we had many wonderful conversations regarding Him), though he were dead yest shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die."

It is because of our Savior and His atonement and resurrection that Bette is living today, this is my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.