loading ...

Warming Our Hearts Every Minute, Every Day – Bettye Kray, In Memoriam


Bettye Kray, a beloved Board member, left our lives in January. With everyone she met, Bettye shared her passion for helping people who are marginalized, living in poverty, victims of human trafficking, and or just needed someone to love them. She spread joy and inspiration with her big smile and wise words. Bettye was the epitome of a good human and led an adventurous, faith-based life filled with stories, kindness, and thousands upon thousands of hugs. There are not enough words to describe how amazing Bettye was, and so we will share her light through an email she sent following our December Holiday Meal for People Experiencing Homelessness.

Although you will forever be missed, your legacy lives on and we know you are resting in peace, Bettye.


Watch one of the last times Bettye sang with the Lighthouse Singers Gospel Choir at Ritter Center’s Holiday Dinner for Clients Experiencing Homelessness in December 2022.

Remembering Bettye Kray

Bettye had a great soul. A great spirit. Her dedication to Ritter remained up to the last – she came on the building tour last month, and sang with gusto at the Holiday Dinner for clients as part of her wonderful Gospel group. Amazing.

Bettye came on the Board about the same time I did; I learned so much from her and was so inspired by her insight into the people Ritter serves.

What a loss for us, and for the many other caring organizations she devoted her life to.
On this day of tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., I’m thinking of Bettye, who so personified the legacy of Dr. King’s mission.

I don’t know half of what Bettye did during her lifetime, but I have learned in the past four years of her tireless efforts on behalf of the homeless, which went far beyond her commitment to Ritter.

I am also aware that she was, for years, a leading advocate for victims of sex trafficking in Marin County, actively participating in helping them and in bringing perpetrators to justice. .

Like Rev. King, Bettye was driven by the desire to pursue social justice in whatever way she could. And like him, she was grounded and guided by a deep faith, devoting herself to spreading hope for more love and peace in our society.
I am grateful to Ritter for bringing us together; I just wish I had known her longer.

-Carol Angel

Ah, dear Bettye. I’m very sad; she became a lovely friend and brilliant colleague whom I shall greatly miss. The last time we spoke she told me about her Stage 4 kidney disease and her wish to continue being of service as long as she could.

RIP, dear Bettye. May the angels lead you to the Paradise you so richly deserve.

-Toni Doyle

I hope she knows how much she touched the lives of all who knew her. And all those who didn’t, but still benefited from her passion and tireless energy. I miss her very much. She was a treasure.

-Margaret Trezevant

I feel blessed to have known and worked with Bettye Kray! Angels do walk the earth!!

– Mark Shotwell

She had an undeniable light and energy to her that was patently palpable.

– Cheryl Reiss

All I can think about is how beautiful the choir was at our client dinner. I would agree with Marks words. Thankful to her and her service to humanity.

– Rory Rieger

What deeply saddening news.

Bettye was an absolute delight. Every moment I spent with or around her was brightened by her presence. She truly lived the mission of love and support in everything she did- I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody more full of love and enthusiasm for her community; the well of giving that she drew from seemed bottomless at times. The sadness at her passing is brightened by knowing how rich and full of a life that she lived.

We never know how much time we have on this earth, so I would like to extend a big warm expression of appreciation for everyone at Ritter. You’re all amazing individuals and we are very lucky to have one another in our lives.

– Alice Raschke

I’m at a complete loss of words. I spent so much of the time that evening [at the Holiday Dinner] talking to her. This was an honor for me. We spoke about my position at Ritter, how she felt about our ability to reach so many unhoused. She even invited me to join the choir! I have her business card in my car. Please give my condolences to her family.

– Lizzette Dukes-Blake

Bettye was great. I had two wonderful conversations with her, she was truly and incredible woman. My heart is heavy with sadness for her and her family.

– Kellie Walker

Bettye was a light that helped and inspired many… through her gospel choir, volunteerism, funny t-shirts, beautiful soul, and so many other facets that made her incredibly special.

I had recent conversations with her about the time she had left with us. She had an optimistic and loving outlook, felt fulfilled with the life she led, and seemed to be at peace through her faith and love for humanity.

This is a small comfort – I’ll miss Bettye very, very much.

– Jessica Hansen, MNA

I am completely at a loss of words. Such an amazing person.

– Jorge Garcia

I am devastated at our loss of such a beautiful person and feel the same as you blessed to have met her. I would love to attend her service once it is shared.

– Norma J. Brewer

Sad news. Grateful for her service and support. Life is short, cherish the time we have.

– Ben Stein

If you would like to add a comment or story about Bettye to this page, please send your magical memories
to Kate Harle [email protected].