John Marcus Betts "aka Wheels"

May 1, 1970 ~ May 1, 2020 (age 50)


John Marcus Betts "aka Wheels," was born on Friday, May 1, 1970, 10:30 pm at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California to Sylvia Olcott, weighing in at 7 lbs, 14 oz and 22" long.  John was born with a condition known as Spina Bifida, requiring a number of life, saving surgeries over the next few years.  

In John's 50 years he has lived in San Diego, Ca until he was 3, then moved to Spokane, Wa. with his family.  In Spokane he began being cared for with the Shriner's Hospital for Children and then transferred that care to the Portland Shriner's Hospital when he and his family moved to Union, Or, then La Grande, then to Tualatin, and finally to Lake Oswego, Or.  While he was still a child in Oregon, John was also cared for extensively by the OHSU Child Development and Rehabilitation Center for issues relating to his Spina Bifida.  Throughout John's 50 year life, he was actively cared for by Shriner's Hospital, OHSU's CDRC and Kaiser Permanente and he gracefully endured 49 different surgeries that helped keep him healthy and wise.  John taught us all to be loving and caring even through the hard times and the frustrating times.

John was a very social person and he was very active in the community at large.  He was a tireless activist for disability rights, serving on the TRIMET CAT committee for 10 years as an accessibility advocate, offering significant input on MAX light rail cars, ramp placements, and access.  John was also involved with the Spina Bifida Association (SBA), and had recently signed up to participate in the Portland chapter Walk and Roll fundraiser for SBA, being held in Hillsboro. 

Other interests and hobbies included a love of all things Star Trek and Star Wars, ABATE and their annual toy run, summertime concerts in the park and at noon by Portland Parks, yearly excursions to the PNW ComiCon with friends, social gatherings of almost any kind, parties, celebrations and intimate "catch-up-with-you" chats and lunches, the ocean, and travel.  John LOVED to travel to new places and see new things.

John loved his family, his friends and his phone.  Anyone who knew John well knew he was incredibly loyal and loving and that his lifeline to the outside world was his phone and had been since he was just a tiny tike.

John is survived by his parents, Sylvia Drill of Lake Oswego, Oregon and Kim Betts of Carson City, Nevada, step parents Steven Drill of Lake Oswego and Elaine Nelson of Beaverton, his siblings, David Betts of Lake Oswego and Angela Betts of Portland, 4 step sisters, Barbara Drill, Tonya Hegar, Sherry McMasters and Cindy Davis of Oregon, 2 nieces and an aunt, uncles, and many cousins.  John is predeceased by his sister, Detra Louise Betts and his grandparents, Gordon and Kelly Olcott and Robert and Lois Betts.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to John's favorite causes, The Shriner's Hospital for Children and The Spina Bifida Association, to further their care and research in his name.




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