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January 19, 1929 — March 6, 2018

Betty Lou Leach Mankin went home to be with Our Lord on March 6, 2018, surrounded by family.

Born in Santa Barbara, California, to Neva Jean Cooley, she was raised by adoptive parents Frank and Aleda Edgar. She graduated from Santa Barbara High School in 1946, attended UC Santa Barbara and later became an LPN.

She married the love of her life, Buck Leach in 1947. They were blessed with three children. In 1959, after moving to San Jose, Buck passed suddenly of a heart attack.

A few years later she met Bill Mankin at Arthur Murray dance studios. They married in 1961 and were blessed with a daughter, Mittaline. Their friendship lasted a lifetime.

Betty was a devoted single mom, loving her children with everything she had.

In 1974, she came down suddenly with a rare and debilitating virus, paralyzing her from the neck down. Being a survivor, she eventually recovered the use of her extremities.

Unable to return to nursing, she obtained an associate degree in grief counseling. Having dreamed of moving to Oregon for years, in 1979, Betty and Mittaline moved to Albany, where daughter, Betty and family lived.

In Oregon, Betty fostered teen girls and later became an adult foster provider in her own home. She volunteered as a dispatcher for Call-A-Ride. At her church, she managed refreshments, organized home meals for members in need and mentored children who loved to help “Grandma Betty.” She was known as the “Donut Lady.”

For the last 11 years, Betty has lived with Mittaline and family.

Betty is survived by her children, Helen Pollock of Arizona, Buck Leach of Massachusetts, Betty Lazon and Mittaline Mankin-Scott of North Albany; nine grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and many who called her “Mom.”

Her family will be hosting a celebration of life and reception at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 15, at Fisher Funeral Home in Albany.

Memorial gifts can be given in her name to Linn County Foster Parents Association or SafeHaven Humane Society in Albany.

Online condolences for the family may be posted at

the life of: Betty Lou Leach Mankin
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