Cover photo for Betty Rappleye Beecher's Obituary
Betty Rappleye Beecher Profile Photo
1930 Betty 2023

Betty Rappleye Beecher

July 11, 1930 — April 21, 2023

Betty Jean Rappleye Beecher was born in 1930 in Logan, Utah, to Voyd Jay Rappleye and Emma Bailey. She passed away peacefully on Friday, April 21, 2023.

Family and music are her passions, and her life has been showered with beautiful memories from both.

She and her sister, Renee LaBeau, were best friends. When Betty was 12 years old, they received one bike at Christmas for the two of them to share. One would pump while the other would sit on the seat. Sometimes they would even pedal together, never missing a beat. Their bond was and still is unbreakable.

Betty began taking piano lessons at the age of 8, was the accompanist for her elementary class by age 11, and started teaching students by age 12. Her lifelong love for music, especially piano music, was born from the sacrifice her mother made to provide piano lessons - even as a single mother during the Great Depression. Her dear mother valued the musical talent of Betty, encouraged her progress, and was willing to give up any personal comfort to provide opportunities for her advancement.

In February of 1950, Betty married Dick Hoagland Beecher in the Logan, Utah Temple. Shortly afterward, they moved to Cokeville, Wyoming. Her greatest treasures were born during her time in Cokeville: Sherry, Kirk, and Ellen.

As a mother, Betty emphasized the need for music lessons for her own children. In her house, the sounds of piano, flute, and violin were ever present with countless hours of practicing. She taught piano lessons in the basement while her children were home. Whenever the phone rang during piano lessons, she would answer it and then play a jingle on the piano that was tied to each of her children. If she played your jingle, you knew the phone call was for you.

Betty began attending Utah State University (USU) in 1963. She graduated with a master’s degree in music in 1977. Betty was Director of Group Piano Instruction for USU for many years. She taught college students for the Piano Department in both a group setting, as well as individual lessons in her office on campus, and private lessons in her home. Betty retired from teaching at USU in 1998 but continued teaching privately until 2021 at the age of 91. Her students won numerous State and Regional competitions. “You only need to practice on the days you eat,” was her motto. Over the years, Betty has blessed the lives of countless students with her extraordinary talent of teaching piano; her gift lives on through them.

For many years, she accompanied Dr. Warren Burton with his comedy acts, including on national TV for The Bob Barker Talent Show. She served as Vice President of the Northern Utah Music Teachers Association and received the Edward McCalson Teachers Outstanding Award for Teachers of Youth Conservatory. Betty was an adjudicator for the State Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), State Fair Competitions, and Idaho Concerto Competitions. In 1982, she was made Assistant Professor in the Piano Music Department at USU. In October of 2012, a USU Steinway grand piano was commissioned to be rebuilt in her honor, with Betty’s name to be engraved upon a plaque on the piano. This great honor would permanently leave her footprint in the USU Piano Department.

Sadly, Betty’s son Kirk in 1995 at the young age of 41, passed away. Because his musical talents blessed many during his short life, Betty set up a scholarship fund in his name for a recipient in the USU Piano Department to continue his legacy.
As an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Betty served in many musical callings throughout her life.

Like a beautiful piano piece, Betty’s life has touched and inspired countless others, leaving an indelible, unforgettable crescendo of love and hope that her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, relatives, students, and friends will forever have ringing in their hearts.

Betty is survived by her sister, Renee LaBeau, her two daughters, Sherry (Mark) Bingham and Ellen (Tony) Mulcahy, and her grandchildren Todd (Robyn) Bingham, Shane (Emily) Bingham, RuthAnn (Jon) Hiatt, Sheralyn (Kurt) Shields, Travis (Vanessa) Allen, Andrea Arnell, Erik (Thomas) Allen-Martinez, Jordan Allen. Betty is preceded in death by her parents and her son, Kirk Beecher.

Visitation Service will be held on Friday, April 28, from 6:00 PM-8:00 PM at the Allen-Hall Mortuary located at 34 E Center St, Logan, UT.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, April 29, at 1:00 PM at the Logan 19th ward chapel located at 1255 N 600 E, Logan, UT, with a Visitation Service prior to the funeral from 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty Rappleye Beecher, please visit our flower store.
Beecher, Betty Full sheet (DESKTOP-PNIII0V-s conflicted copy 2023-04-26).pdf
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Friday, April 28, 2023

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