Benjamin Matthew Martinez Betts, 57
Benjamin Matthew Martinez Betts, age 57, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, at Billings Clinic Hospital in Billings, Mont.
He was born Sept. 22, 1962, in Everett, Wash., to Joe C. Martinez and Carolsue Lynn (Wensky) Betts. He was one of six boys (number three) growing up where his journey started, with several moves as a young military family, living in San Antonio, Texas, Everett, Wash., then settling in the Seattle and Bothell area.
His mother remarried Robert I Betts during his early years, whom he would call “Dad” growing up and have a close and supporting relationship. He was a 1981 graduate of Bothell High School in Bothell, Wash., where he participated in most team sports with many talents and athletic abilities. He also played alongside his older brothers at times, while his family was always in attendance. He loved baseball dearly. He was a standout and continued to play for many years, including college and adult softball leagues.
Ben married Nikki Andersen in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where they settled and had two wonderful daughters (Jenna and Hanna Betts).
Ben worked in the custom home building and construction industry, where he became known as an expert in his field for his abilities across all aspects and knack for solving complex problems. He truly loved life in North Idaho, where he participated in the community, his church, being outside camping, hunting and fishing, with a growing family of nephews and nieces. He gained notoriety when he played in “L’il Abner” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” in the Lake City Playhouse.
After Ben and Nikki went their separate ways, Ben met his longtime friend and partner Kathy “Kak” Slade Sorbel and moved to Malta, Mont. They lived there together for 10 years, supporting her mother and their community by working on local projects and traveling as often as they could to visit family and friends in Coeur d’Alene, Missoula and Seattle.
He is survived by his longtime partner, Kathy Slade Sorbel, ex-wife Nikki Andersen, daughters Hanna Betts and Jenna (Betts) Burtis and Dustin Burtis, as well as grandchildren Crosby and Sloan. He leaves behind his parents, Carolsue Lynn Betts and stepfather Robert Betts; four brothers, Joseph Martinez Betts, Zachary Martinez Betts (wife Danielle, daughters Sydney, Josephine, son Alexander), Jonathan Martinez Betts (partner Rose Ott, daughter Marissa Betts) and Scott Betts (wife Jessica, daughter Beatrice); half-siblings Anthony Martinez, Angelo Martinez, and Joanna Nishimura (Martinez); her son, Javier Martinez; and numerous beloved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, Cameron Betts, and his father, Joe Martinez.
Family, friends, and anyone whose lives Ben touched are invited to the services at Trinity Lutheran Church in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, at 812 N. Fifth St., Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, 83814, from 1-3 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019; and the Malta Lutheran Church, 316 S. Third Ave. W., Malta, Mont., 59538, on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 2-4 p.m. to memorialize, reminisce, grieve and support each other at this time.