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Francis Betz, 1943 – 2013

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Francis Betz

Betz, Francis E. 70 Oct. 03, 1943 Nov. 29, 2013 Francis E. Betz, of Beaverton, died Nov. 29, 2013, following a long illness. He was born and raised in Cliffside Park, N.J., to Francis J. and Julia T. Betz. Frank, as he was known to family and friends, graduated from Don Bosco High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy (1963-1967) and proudly served two tours during the Vietnam War as an electrical technician (ETR3) onboard the U.S.S. Monmouth County LST 1032. He received the Vietnam Campaign medal, National Defense Service medal and the Vietnam Service medal. Furthermore, the ship received a Letter of Navy Commendation for its service during the war.

Following an honorable discharge from the Navy, Frank received his master’s in education from California State University at Los Angeles in 1972. He began teaching with the Hacienda-La Puente Unified School District, Calif. 1972-1980; then Oregon Salem Keizer School District 1980-1995. He specialized in working with special needs and elementary school children.

He was a member of VFW Post 4617 in Beaverton. In 2011, he founded the Welcome Home Coin project, which was his heart’s desire to honor veterans, especially those who served in Vietnam. He created the Welcome Home Coin Project and designed welcome home coins to honor his son, Michael, and the soldiers of Michael’s unit, the 1-140th Aviation Assault Battalion, and other Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam veterans.

Frank would greet each veteran with “Welcome home. Thank you for your service and sacrifice,” followed by a handshake and a welcome home coin — a legacy of generosity and kindness that will not be forgotten. Frank is survived by his sons, Michael and Daniel; granddaughter, Michelle; sisters, Julia Betz and Teresa Machinski; brothers, Tom and Stephen; nephews, Brian, Kurt, Christian and Lucas; and nieces, Amanda, Kendall, Olivia and Claudia.

A service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at Wilhelm Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 6705 S.E. 14th Ave., Portland, OR 97202. 

Published in The Oregonian from Dec. 15 to Dec. 18, 2013

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