Elizabeth “Betty” Simonsen, 96, died on Tuesday,  January 21 at The Woods of Caledonia Born in Racine, Wisconsin to John and Alta Meekma, Betty was the oldest of their four children.

Betty shared a special bond with her sister, Jean, until her very last day. Sadly, the brothers, Jack and Robert, passed away earlier but were always lovingly remembered by the two sisters. Betty married her high school “beau”, Howard “Howie”, in 1943 and shared 57 years with him until his death in 2000. Two sons, Howard Jr. “Skip” and Robert (deceased) completed that generation. Over time, two grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren completed the five-generation family. From early on, Betty’s inherited creativity flourished. Everything from embroidery to crocheting to interior decorating and hand-quilting filled her leisure hours. Quilts for special occasions were lovingly crafted for her son and daughter-in-law, Joedy, and her two grandchildren John Simonsen and Laurie Stevenson. And her homes always sparkled with fine examples of her talents. Betty also enjoyed a variety of paid positions outside the home during her life. One of her first jobs was at Hamilton Beach during WWII followed by stints at retail stores like Avenue Little Folks Shoppe, being a drapery consultant at Sears and in the office at Massey Ferguson. She gave her best and always endeavored to see her customers’ needs were met. Lest you think she was only an indoor girl, Betty’s gardening skills were amazing. When her son Skip got married in the backyard of Howie and Betty’s home, she replanted all the flowerbeds to match the color scheme of the wedding…and floated orchids in the swimming pool.

Visitation for Betty will take place on Saturday, February 8 from 2- 3 p.m. at Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home, 803 Main Street. A brief service will follow at 3 p.m. A private burial will take place at a later date. For nine plus decades, Betty truly enjoyed a “life well lived.” Memorials in her name to the Wisconsin Humane Society, Racine Campus have been suggested.

Please send condolences to Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home.

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