Elizabeth Eleanor Speaker Safford
Elizabeth Eleanor Speaker Safford
Elizabeth Eleanor Speaker Safford, “Betty,” passed away on April 24, 2020, on her family’s Riverside Ranch in Lovelock, Nevada. 

Betty was born in Modesto, California on May 17, 1929.  A descendant of men and women who had pioneered ranches and gold mines in Mariposa County during the Gold Rush era.

She grew up on a cattle ranch near the mining town of Hornitos, California.  When she was old enough to go to high school, her family moved to Merced, California.

It was in Merced, at a dance at the American Legion Hall, in fact, that she met her beloved husband of seventy-one years, Charles Burton Safford. Charles was a cattleman, and one of Betty’s favorite activities was tending cattle with him in the California foothills or in Nevada’s deserts and mountains.

Betty was a fine student.  She was a lifetime member of the California Scholarship Federation, and she studied animal husbandry and horticulture at the University of California, Davis, in the 1940s. 

She remained an avid gardener throughout her life, and she loved nothing more than designing her gardens.

Betty was also a skilled painter, and she often said when she planned her gardens that she was “painting with her flowers.” 

In addition to these interests, Betty loved to travel.  She explored the Greek Islands, visited the world’s greatest art museums in Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin, and cruised through the Caribbean.

She also enjoyed driving through Nevada’s desert expanses, as she followed her children and then her grandchildren throughout the state and even into California, in order to attend their football games, basketball games, volleyball games, and track meets.

Finally, Betty was a champion for her children and her grandchildren.

She stressed the importance of scholarship and hard work to them; helped them as much as she possibly could throughout her life; and told them that they could achieve anything if they tried.  She was loved greatly and will be missed by many. 

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Annie and Lee Speaker, and by her five beloved sisters, Verna, Elsie, Minnie, Geneva, and Margaret, and her sister-in-law, Jane.  She is survived by her husband, Charles Burton Safford, her children, Charles Michael Safford, Elizabeth Ann Harvey, and James Patrick Safford, and by their spouses Linda Jane Safford, Loretta Jane Safford, and David Lee Harvey.  

She is also survived by six grandchildren and their spouses, and by three great-grandchildren, as well as by her nieces and nephews and their children and grandchildren.