news and events » obituaries

Obituaries Header


return to Obituaries

Howard W. Betty ( North Cascades 1948 )

posted: May 12, 2017

Howard died May 2, 2017. He graduated from Okanogan H. S. in 1948 and rookied at Winthrop that same year where he continued to jump through the 1954 season. He had fought many fires for the USFS while in high school and was an experienced firefighter by the time he started jumping.

In 1954 Howard quit jumping and went to work for a Swiss Skyline logging outfit. He thought he would make big money falling timber but nearly starved to death.

Howard had continued his education while jumping and graduated from Eastern Washington University in 1952 with his teaching degree. He went into the lumber business in 1955 and built the Methow Valley Lumber Company until his retirement in 1976.

Howard then joined the Carpenters Union and travelled jobsite to jobsite and built hundreds of homes and businesses in Okanogan County. He was a skilled cabinetmaker, avid hunter and member of many service clubs.

Smokejumping has stayed in Howard's family. His son Ned (LDG-77) jumped five years, earned an engineering degree, and now lives in Kirkland, Washington. His son-in-law, Steve Reynaud (NCSB-65), also jumped for many years.