Betty Jane Elsasser
Betty Jane Elsasser was born Oct. 5, 1928, in St. Joseph, and passed away on Jan. 14, 2019, at the age of 90, in Crystal River, Fla.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Maxwell Elsasser, who passed away at the age of 90 in Florida in 2014, and her daughter, Dona Bammann (Donald), who passed away in April 2018.
She is survived by her daughter, Gail Risch (Michael Scott) of Omaha, Neb.; her son, Glenn Elsasser (Annette Mahoney) of Lecanto, Fla.; two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Betty grew up in Bridgman. After graduating from high school, she was employed by the Indiana & Michigan Electric Company in St. Joseph. She met her husband-to-be at Shadowland Ballroom at Silver Beach.
Betty and Max were married Oct. 9, 1949. Early in their marriage they purchased, remodeled and expanded an old home in Stevensviille, where they raised their three children. Betty and the whole family loved to be outdoors, especially at Glenlord Beach during the summer or in the large back yard at home. They had a huge vegetable garden, and Betty was a master at canning, pickling and freezing homegrown produce. When she was not on the beach or in the garden, Betty, a skilled seamstress, spent hours making clothes and creating gifts in the sewing room that Max built for her. She was a member of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Stevensville, where she helped with the school lunch program, the Ladies Aid Society and the Altar Guild.
Betty came from a long line of great cooks and large family gatherings. In mid-life her love of both food and socializing drew her to employment with caterers, where serving food and having fun came together. After moving to Florida, she contributed to events in their retirement community; there was never a slow season for Betty.
Betty and Max shared their love of fishing from the first years of marriage to the end of their lives. They began with perch fishing with bamboo poles on the South Pier off Silver Beach and later moved to coho salmon fishing from their boat in the deeper waters of Lake Michigan. In retirement, they moved to Florida for six months of every year, bought another boat and fished in the Gulf of Mexico. Card playing, dancing and a wide circle of friends rounded out Betty’s years of retirement.
Interment of ashes in Lincoln Township Cemetery will be scheduled later. May Betty Jane, wife, mother, grandmother and friend rest in peace with Max where the fishing is always good.