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Betty Jean Bartel
October 27, 1927-April 29, 2022
Betty Bartel obit pic

In remembrance of Jean Bartel, born Betty Jean Knapp October 27, 1927 in Denver, Colorado.  

   Married at age 18, to Joel Driver Jr. and mother to two sons, Joel Phillip Driver III and Gerald Curtis Driver.  Jean was the oldest of 11 children of Majora Gladys Dillard Knapp, and a cow in the backyard for milk.  Jean will be laid to rest June 4th, at Los Gatos Memorial Park, 2255 Los Gatos-Almaden Rd., San Jose, CA 95124 at 12:30 p.m.

   Jean can be viewed at Darling Fisher Chapel of the Hills, 615 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, CA 95030 from 9-11 and a short service at 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Being the oldest, and with a mother constantly with child, Jean continued to care for the younger children when Majora died at 37 from cancer.  Several of the children were placed in an orphanage after Majora’s death, and Jean and Joel took them out of the orphanage and into their home.  Suddenly, Jean was back in a large family.  Joel and Jean also helped Joel’s two younger brothers and youngest sister, Bob, Jim, and Lavina. The 50’s were tough and everyone worked, Jean started as a waitress, then bookkeeper at Singer's in Colorado. 1958, everyone ended up in California and Jean got her break at Shore Canavar Hub Caps in purchasing. Jean then moved on to Barton Instruments when the purchasing agent at Shore retired. At Barton, when Transamerica took over, they did not want a woman in charge of purchasing. Jean moved up to assistant purchasing agent. With no future at Barton, Jean went shopping for a more progressive employer.  Jean applied to Lockheed in Sunnyvale, California, amazing – Lockheed was looking to bring a woman into there subcontracts and Jean was cheap. Jean became the only woman in the room while working with top secret contracts with Lockheed, for the next 30 years. She became the only woman in every job to which she was promoted, and the highest placed female employee at Lockheed when she retired.  There were projects with Lockheed that 30 years later she could not confirm nor deny.  She met her ultimate love of her life at Lockheed, Leonard Bartel, and her true career began many ministry projects.  Jean and Leonard traveled all around the US in their motorhome working on churches (MAS) and religious schools. She went overseas working on old churches, supporting an orphanage in Bogota, Columbia and a hospital ship that helps 3rd world countries in need.

   Jean and Leonard opened their home many times to folks that needed a little help to get on with there lives. Jean only had two boys – but dozens of little adoptees that call her mom and grandma.  Relationship is what Jean and Leonard were all about. There are literally hundreds of people who's lives are better for having known the Bartels.

   Jean and Leonard lived happily in the motorhome for 20 years until ill health ended Leonard’s driving.

From milk maid to satellite builder, a good full life caring for others and putting God and compassion first.

Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin

Saturday, May 28, 2022