Steven Betschart

Steven Betschart

Tuesday, October 19th, 1948 Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

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Obituary for Steven G. Betschart

Steve Betschart was born on October 19, 1948 in The Dalles, Oregon to Wilma and Glenn Betschart. He was the youngest of three sons. He is survived by his brothers Ron Betschart and Russ Betschart. He spent his youth hunting rattle snakes, swimming in the Gorge, and picking Bing cherries. Steve attended The Dalles High School and enjoyed playing trumpet in the band.

Steve attended Oregon College of Education (Western Oregon University) in Monmouth, Oregon, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1971 and a Master of Arts in Teaching in 1977.

Steve began his teaching career at Dallas High School in 1970 as an Intern and continued to teach American History, Social Studies, Psychology, and Drivers’ Education there until his retirement in 2003. He then went on to teach part-time as an adjunct teacher for Chemeketa Community College for several years. Steve had a passion for teaching that was evident to all, but his students remember how he brought history to life. His work inspired numerous historians, writers, and educators to continue in his path.

Steve’s love of history was also expressed by his dedication to Civil War reenacting. For thirty-one years, he was a member of the Northwest Civil War Council, the First Oregon Volunteer Infantry, and the Twentieth Maine living history groups. He participated in Civil War reenactments in several states and can briefly be seen in the movie Gettysburg and an episode of Rescue 911. He played cornet in the Third Brigade Band, a historic Brass Band, and served as the company bugler for many years. Steve once had the opportunity to play Taps on Little Round Top. His reverent and moving rendition of the song has brought many to tears. Steve facilitated and participated in living history presentations at schools throughout Oregon. He was a Member of the Sons of Union Veterans, and a Brother of the Col. Edward D. Baker Camp No. 6 where he was serving as Junior Vice Commander at the time of his passing. He served two terms as Camp Commander (2012 and 2013). For the Department of the Columbia, he was serving as Department Musician and Chairman of the Department Nominating Committee. He had previously served as a member of the Department Council. In the Sons of Veterans Reserve (SVR) he held the rank of Major, and was the Commander of both Company B, 71st Pennsylvania Infantry and the Sixth Military District.

Steve was a devout Christian. He attended Salem First Church of the Nazarene, played trumpet in the church orchestra, served on the board, and taught the Open Heart Sunday School class. Steve was a mentor, a peacekeeper, a leader, and an example to many, including his family. His dedication to studying the Bible was evident in his teaching and his advice. We could always count on him for Godly counsel, wise guidance, and loving support. He was particularly helpful during times of uncertainty and anxiety. He frequently shared his favorite verses including Phil 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Steve was a devoted family man. He married Karen Phay in 1973. They were blessed with three children: Annette Keen (from his first marriage to Lynne Fadness), Jennifer Betschart, and Matthew Betschart. He adored his three granddaughters Kimbraly Smith, Allison Keen, and Willow Betschart and, like a grandson, Maason Coffelt. Steve had a great sense of humor and big laugh. He was kind, gentle, and tender hearted.

Steve and Karen traveled extensively. His favorite trips were a “Band of Brothers” tour of Europe, a trip to Israel, the Panama Canal cruise, and any trip that included his family.

Steve died of the Covid-19 coronavirus and went to be with his Lord on April 2, 2020. He is survived by his wife, Karen Betschart; children Annette Keen, Jennifer Betschart, and Matthew Betschart; granddaughters Kimbraly Smith, Allison Keen, and Willow Betschart; and two brothers Ron Betschart and Russ Betschart. Steve touched many lives and will be remembered as a Christian, a teacher, and a friend.

Private Internment is at the Dallas Cemetery.

Donations can be given in his name to:
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:
Hope Station:
Willamette Humane Society:

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Steven G. Betschart, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Private Family Services
    Address Not Available
    Private Family Graveside
  • Interment

    Dallas Cemetery
    Address Not Available

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Mike and Connie Jarrett

Our support goes out to Steve and his family and friends during this time of grief and loss. Steve was always a welcoming, comforting soul. We loved the passion that he brought to those things he felt strongly about and events he participated in. He will live in our memories.
Comment | Posted at 10:23pm via Condolence

Emilie Smith

Steve was an amazing man. His gentle presence and good humor was precious. His faith was obvious and he spoke of the Lord in an easy, natural manner, so comfortable was he with God. He played his bugle at the memorial service that we had when my grandson died at 6 months, and his wife, Karen, played the piano. I still can’t believe that he is gone, but I will always be grateful to have known him. Blessings and comfort to his family.
Comment | Posted at 05:44pm via Condolence

Connie Barrier

Thank you for all the lessons & dedication to the Lord & his peoples- condolences Family, Friends, former Students
Comment | Posted at 10:22pm via Condolence

Colette Clarke

My fondest memory of Steve is the time he played Taps on the Union side of camp at Willamette Mission State Park, while Jason Randall in our Confederate camp played the echo of it. He was the kindest of men and will be greatly missed on Earth, but is a phenomenal addition to the Joys of heaven. Sincere condolences to his family until they join him again in the presence of our maker. With Love, Colette Clarke
Comment | Posted at 08:54pm via Condolence

Peter Messer

A tree to remember Mr. Betchart: it will bear witness to history as he did, and make the future world a better place, as he did.
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Memorial Tree Planted

Peter Messer planted a memorial tree for Steven Betschart
Comment | Posted at 08:23pm via Memorial Tree

Why light a candle?

This is why you should light a candle..

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