Joline Dawn Killinger arrived at the front bedroom of 725 State Street, the home of her grandparents, “Billy” and Mamie Love, and was welcomed by the town of Sedro-Woolley, Washington as the 1933’s New Year Baby. She left this world on April 5, 2023, grateful to have returned to Skagit County after having lived in cities in California for more years than she had planned.
Called “Jody” by family and friends, she graduated SWHS with the class of 1951. From Humboldt State College in Arcata, CA, she earned a BA in music, an MA in Theatre Arts, and California General Secondary Teaching Credential. She continued study for the next 30 Years, honing performance skills and adding related classes in art, literature, and foreign languages at San Francisco State College, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, Actors’ Conservatory Theatre, Film Arts Foundation, Les Williams and Cheryl McNamara dance studios, James Donlon Mime Company, and other training studios in the San Francisco Bay area. She performed in theatre productions in theatres from Santa Barbara, CA to Arcata and returned to Arcata in the early ‘60s as a founding member of Union Town Players, a community summer theatre where she also acted and directed plays. She regularly visited foreign countries, combining a love of theatre with a strong interest in travel and foreign languages and cultures.
Joline taught English and acting at Carlmont High School (1961-1964) followed by 12 years with the Theatre Arts Department of College of Notre Dame in Belmont, CA, where she taught acting, directing, and theatre history, and directed music and drama performances. She acted with Sierra Repertory Theatre, a professional theatre, and acted and directed off and on for more than 30 years for the prestigious Hillbarn Theatre in San Mateo, CA. Her last employment before moving back to Skagit County was as Managing Director of Hillbarn. In 2006, she produced a video documentary about Hillbarn Theatre. Between theatre jobs, she worked first as an aide and then as Chair of the Court Reporting Program at Canada College and for six months taught English at Jazykova Skola in Liberec, Czechoslovakia.
In Skagit County since her return, Joline has volunteered with the Sedro-Woolley Museum, Lincoln Theatre, Friends of Skagit County, Washington School, and the Skagit efforts to stop coal and oil trains. In California, her volunteer experience writing publicity for the San Mateo County Volunteer Center and a lifelong interest in literature prepared her for writing The Home Front: Sedro-Woolley, Washington, 1940-1945, published in 2015.
Joline survived by her husband, Frank Bettendorf of Mount Vernon; daughter, Lisa Bettendorf and her husband, Dan Francesconi; grandson, Dante ‘Jake’ of Redwood City, CA; sister, Kay Escarda of Eureka, CA.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Merle Love Killinger and Glenn Killinger; brother, James Glenn Killinger, Jr.
Burial was private near the sites of her great grandparents in Hamilton Cemetery. Memorial remembrances are requested for environmental, animal protection, or arts organizations of your choice.
Please share your memories of Joline and sign the online guest register.
I met Jody the summer of 1968 at the American Conservatory Theatre (SF) where we were students. She was a witness at my wedding (it didn’t last). Because we were both teachers and involved in various theatres we stay connected and enjoyed supporting each other. When she and Frank moved we stayed connected but sadly only with our annual Christmas catch-up. It was our joke that her card was always the first to arrive and guaranteed to be full of her many projects, especially writing. She was a smart, generous, and creative woman and it was a privilege having her as a friend and colleague.
My memories of Jody are long and joyful. She was the Sprite that filled our hearts and minds with the magic of theatre and dance. She knew the passion of that lied therein and how to impart it upon us all. Thank you, Jody for all your loving memories. May you rest in peace.