Elizabeth Shugart was born to Garland and Evelyn Hanson in San Diego, CA on April 13, 1930. She was the second of two children, both girls, born to the Hansons. Her sister, Jean, was her elder by 19 months.
Betty Lou, as she was called, was surrounded by her mother’s family in San Diego. Evelyn had two brothers and a sister, all of whom married and had children in the area. Betty and Jean’s cousin Carol, who was between the two girls in age was a frequent companion.
When she was a young teen, her father’s work for the government, as an accountant, resulted in a move to New Orleans. This proved a very interesting time for the family. Before too long, however, they returned to California. This is where Betty attended high school, in Santa Barbara, as Jean attended college at Whittier. Betty continued her undergraduate education at Pepperdine and obtained a Masters in Public Health from the University of Hawaii. She then received her nursing degree from UCSF.
Betty was very proud of her nursing degree and all of her work in public health. One of the most interesting opportunities she had nursing was in the late 1950s, when she worked for a oil company, as their nurse in Peru. Her niece, Cindy, remembers a childhood trip to Betty’s home in Hayward, where Llama rugs and brightly colored fabrics were featured.
While living in the Bay Area, Betty joined a group for young single adults and soon became close friends with a group of people who had similar interests. Among that group was Howard Shugart. Betty and Howard were friends for some time before a romance blossomed. They were married in Santa Barbara, on February 6, 1971, with her sister and niece as bridesmaids.
Howard and Betty moved to the house on Oakridge in the early 1970s and settled in to enjoy the view, that is when they weren’t traveling. Among their neighbors were Whitney Johnson and his parents. Whitney’s father became Howard’s dentist in 1973. Years later, Whitney followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming not only their dentist but also a family friend.
Both avid travelers they enjoyed seeing much of the world. Their travels included Carnival in Venice. There they watched boats unload supplies for the masked balls from their veranda. They also met up with Jean and her husband, Sam, at the Mont Blanc. In later years, they particularly enjoyed spending time in Hawaii. Many of these trips were with Betty’s cousin Art and his wife Barbara.
Betty Shugart was a gregarious person. Her sister Jean, who is fairly shy loves to tell the story of a pre-kindergarten aged Betty standing up in church for an impromptu rendition of Jesus Loves Me. She put an equal amount of enthusiasm into everything she was passionate about.
Betty will now join her much-loved husband, Howard who preceded her in death.