The Honorable Betty Lou Lamoreaux
April 22, 1924 ~ November 30, 2018
Betty Lou Lamoreaux's sweet spirit crossed over into the next life peacefully, in her Newport Beach home, with her niece by her side, on November 30, 2018; at the age of 94.
She was born in Twin Falls, Idaho to La Vaughn Charles and Nora (Black) Lamoreaux. She is survived by her sister and best friend, Shirley McGrath.
When Betty Lou was eight years old, her mother died at the tender age of 29. Her father was unable to care for his two daughters, therefore, Alberta and George Simmons, their aunt and uncle, who had four sons of their own, raised Betty Lou and Shirley, who they called "Mom and Dad".
Growing up on a raspberry farm in North Ogden, Utah, Betty Lou had a passion for baseball and tennis, and has always been an avid reader. From a young age, Betty Lou and Shirley's mother insisted they both learn shorthand, typing, and the piano.
Betty Lou graduated from Weber High School in 1942, where she was very active in extracurricular activities, such as playing the bugle in the school band. She also worked at Walgreens as a waitress. However, her main focus was her love of music and a passion for singing opera.
After attending Weber College, in Ogden UT, from 1942 to 1944 on a music scholarship, Betty Lou moved to Southern California to attend UCLA and to pursue a stage career. Odd jobs put her through school^she was an usher, cashier and book keeper at the Bruin Theater in Westwood, CA. She also worked as a secretary for Central Casting.
She completed a political science degree at UCLA in 1947. She then devoted five "frustrating years" to a music career, which included singing for the Ice Follies.
Betty Lou was quoted as saying "I never intended to be a lawyer or judge, I was going to be an opera singer"...
In 1953, intrigued with a sign saying there was a need for Attorney's, she moved to San Francisco to attend law school at night and found a job as a secretary to a manager with the Coca Cola Company. Four years later, having received her law degree, she landed a job with a Los Angeles law firm, as the first woman in the firm.
Betty Lou quickly became a female pioneer in California legal circles. She was one of only five women practicing law in Orange County in 1962, and the only one doing trial work. In 1975, Betty Lou became the second woman to serve as a judge in the Harbor Municipal Court in Newport Beach, CA.
In 1976, after winning the seat, on her own, in the June primary election, The Hon. Betty Lou was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown as the first woman to serve on the Superior Court of Orange County, CA.
Judge Betty Lou spent five years on the Superior Court bench ruling on custody issues, contested adoptions and petitions to remove children from dangerous homes. She spent the next seven years judging civil, criminal and appeal cases, and four years as the Presiding Judge of Orange County Juvenile Court.
Judge Betty Lou worked tirelessly to improve Orange County's social services, mental health, substance abuse, public awareness and support for abused children. Judge Betty Lou worked to make the system operate through education-than punishment.
While administering to juvenile cases in "mobile trailers" due to a lack of courtroom space, Judge Betty Lou began a crusade to improve the inadequate and horrendous juvenile and family courtroom facilities. She went to Sacramento several times to lobby for a much-needed facility for Orange County.
Her tenacious efforts paid off! In 1989, ground was broken for a state-of-the-art seven story courthouse in Orange, CA., which was completed and dedicated in 1992, as The Betty Lou Lamoreaux Juvenile Justice Center, the ultimate honor!
Judge Betty Lou retired from the bench at age 65 in 1989, however, was called back to the bench for several years thereafter. In her retirement, she enjoyed cruising for months at a time with her sister Shirley and several friends, visiting many countries throughout the world. She also enjoyed the opera, the symphony, reading good books, and watching Turner Classics, especially John Wayne movies.
She attributed her longevity to the daily spoonful of cod liver oil, washed down with a slice of orange in her childhood. A few of her favorite things included: the color lavender, Cadillac cars, White Shoulders perfume, reading the newspaper, Coca-Cola and mac-n-cheese...^One classy lady!
So now, as a final verdict is pronounced on The Honorable Betty Lou Lamoreaux; it is evident that she was a truly gifted and remarkable woman. We therefore release her to soar and sing with the angels on high..."Case Closed!"
P.S. "Sing from your diaphragm!"
Funeral services will be held at 1:30 P.M. On Saturday, December 15, 2018 at Myers Mortuary in Ogden at 845 Washington Blvd.
Interment: West Weber Cemetery.
Arrangements under the direction of Myers Ogden Mortuary.
Condolences may be sent to the family at: