Bettye Sollecito, 93, passed away on August 28, 2023, inher Monterey home surrounded by her loving family. She was born on November 20, 1929, to Othel and Charlotte Smith in Springfeld, MO. She lived in Missouri until she was 22-years-old, where she enjoyed such activities as demolition car racing and attending a screentest for Paramount Studios. Paramount offered to fy herto Hollywood, however, her mother did not want her involved in the unsavory “Hollywood lifestyle.”
In 1951, Bettye relocated to Monterey, CA with hermother. In 1952, she met the love of her life, Joe, at theBlue Ox Restaurant in Monterey. Following a dinner inwhich he inviting himself to dine with her, her carwouldn’t start and he offered her a ride home. A whirlwind romance led to an elopement to Lake Tahoe. Oncethere, she decided to wait to get married and asked to gohome. A fortuitous snowstorm closed the highways backto Monterey and, knowing the scandal that would ensueif she spent the night with Joe without being married,she tied the knot (later renewing their vows at San CarlosChurch). She was happily married to Joe for 53 years, until his passing in 2006.
Bettye spent 25 years as the offce manager for WalterColton Junior High School in Monterey, was very involved in the Italian Catholic Federation, Festa Italia, SanCarlos Church, CHOMP volunteer, Monterey Bay Aquarium supporter, and many other local organizations. Sheacted at the First Theater of Monterey, and was an avidgarage sale customer. In 1960, she and several otherwomen started the “sewing club.” They never sewed astitch. It was simply a way for the ladies to get out of thehouse, have coffee, cake, and gossip together, with theirhusbands none the wiser. In fact, Joe would often giveher socks to mend…which never returned. The ladiesgot together for the next 50 years (yes, the husbandscaught on eventually). In addition to the sewing club,she held many poker parties at her house and loved traveling to Tahoe, Reno and Chukchansi casinos.
Bettye had a wonderful life surrounded by a large family and a larger group of friends. One of her last wisheswas that nobody should mourn her loss, they should instead celebrate her life. Bettye was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers, Bill, Bob and Herb, her husband Joe, and her sonStephen. She is survived by her sons Anthony (Dawn)and Carmelo, her grandchildren Kimberlee, Kristin, Natalie and Nicole, her great-grandchildren Lauren, Ava,and Cash. Services will be held on Wednesday, September 20,2023 at 10:00 AM at San Carlos Cathedral.