Rene Cecilia Amy Bedford
Oct 12, 1926 – Feb 12, 2019
Renee Cecilia Amy (Stratton) Bedford was born to Welsh parents Mabel Thomas & Frederick John Stratton on October 12, 1926 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. On February 12, 2019 she passed peacefully in her sleep at the age of 92.
With a warm heart and an unwavering faith her entire life, Renee’s pure love for family and friends gave her a lifetime filled with rich memories. As the youngest of three girls who came of age during the big band era, Renee was out on the dance floor every chance she got, in the finest fashions of the era, swinging to the likes of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and other 40s favorites.
On October 9, 1953 she married her lifetime love Garth Bedford and together they made an international move from Ontario to Seattle with five children in tow, enjoyed seven grandchildren, and spent many years RVing cross-country and wintering in Death Valley.
As a working woman she tried on many roles from Bell Telephone of Canada switchboard operator and supervisor to multiple positions at Valley Medical Center. In between her time outside the home, she spent twenty years in her most rewarding role: raising her five children. During those two decades she became a Cub Scout leader for her boys’ troop, Bluebird group leader for her youngest daughter’s troop, a youth group leader and Sunday school teacher, as well as the designated family driving instructor. Not only did she bravely slide into the car with her own kids, but taught a few neighbor kids, too.
Cheerful by nature, she soon became a neighborhood favorite. There was never a fuss when the kids wanted to use the couch cushions to do gymnastics or set up a full-size ping pong table in the living room. Some of the most cherished memories are of summers when she would pack the kids, some food, and a few friends into the car for long fun-filled days swimming at Lake Wilderness.
As a youth Renee was an avid ice skater, tennis enthusiast, and trophy-winning bowler. After marriage, Garth taught her to sail and together they joined a local yacht club. For her own enjoyment she not only loved to bake, whipping up family favorites like butter and minced meat tarts for Christmas, tomato soup cake on birthdays, and always having ginger snaps and fig cookies on hand, but she was also a talented cake decorator. She lovingly crafted the wedding cake for a couple of her children’s weddings.
A social butterfly through and through, Renee made sure she and Garth kept up with friends by having coffee meetups at Ivar’s on their daily walks through Coulon Park and with lunches and other special events at the Renton Senior Center. Until the very end, one of her all-time favorite things in life was to have a lovely cup of tea, some licorice allsorts or Aplets & Cotlets, and settle into a good long chat…be it with her kids around the dinner table or with friends over a card game of Hearts, anyone was welcome. She loved all, and she was loved dearly by all. She will be greatly missed.
Renee is survived by her children Karen, Gale, Orley, Rory and Dove, their respective spouses Vince, Nolan, Ulrike, Lynn, and Greg, her grandchildren Jason, Stuart, Nadine, Mari, Brandon, Derek and Kyle, and great-grandchildren Chloe, Vincent, and Ember. She is now in the loving arms of her husband Garth and her two sisters who preceded her.
“What does it mean to go through life with Jesus? I can answer from experience, “It works! It works!”’ Corrie ten Boom
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