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Longtime Juneau resident Betty McNeven died May 16, 2009, after a long, courageous battle with cancer, her family said. She was 69.
She was born Sept. 2, 1939, to Raymond and Marie Richter in Placerville, Calif. She graduated from Eldorado high school in Placerville and Bethany Bible College in Santa Cruz, Calif.
In 1958, she met George McNeven, and they were married in Placerville in 1962, soon after becoming the proud parents of Jerry and Heather.
The couple served as pastors to many churches in California, moving in 1974 to Juneau where they pastored for the next 11 years in what is now the Juneau Christian Center. While there, they instituted a Christian elementary school that served the community for the next three decades.
Following their tenure with JCC, the couple continued to serve wherever they lived, pastoring congregations in Pelican and various Silver Bay Logging camps.
Her family said Betty loved people, a reliable friend and counselor to many, always having a smile, a word of encouragement, and never tiring of helping others.
"In her own words, she said 'I feel a calling to serving people in need, bringing hope to those who are hurting, taking care of the shut-ins, those that are in hospitals, those that are in rest homes and bringing food to the needy,'" her family said. "Her strong faith and positive attitude made a difference to all she encountered."
She loved Alaska, her adopted home, enjoying the ocean and outdoors, gardening and harvesting the vegetables each season.
She was preceded in death by her husband, George McNeven; and her parents.
She is survived by her son, Jerry McNeven, of Juneau; daughter, Heather McNeven, of Juneau; sister, Darlene Waltrip; brothers, David Richter and Raymond Richter; and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of her life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 23, at the Juneau Christian Center. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Heather Dawn Trust Fund.