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Elizabeth R. Laurance

Elizabeth R. Laurance (nee Otto) died Oct. 12, 2002, at the age of 95.

A native and long-time resident of Winsted, Elizabeth, better known as Betty, was the wife of the late David J. Laurance.

In 1990 she sold the family house on the north side of town and moved to St. Therese Residence in New Hope, where she spent her remaining years.

Up to a week before her death, when she suffered a massive stroke, she was planning with her family to celebrate the 100th anniversary of her husband's birthday, which by an amazing coincidence turned out to be the very day she died.

Betty was born the second of nine children Nov. 4, 1906, to Clemens and Martha (Bisping) Otto on their farm four miles south of Winsted.

She began her education at the country school adjacent to the farm (District 42) for five years, and then attended Holy Trinity Grade School through the eighth grade. She had two years of high school, one at Lester Prairie, and the other at Holy Trinity in New Ulm.

From her earliest childhood she was always an avid reader. In 1923 Betty completed a business course in Minneapolis, after which she worked at several jobs in the cities.

In 1925, at the age of 19, she returned to her family home and began to work for Joe Sterner as assistant cashier in the Lester Prairie bank. She remained at that position for five years.

Betty married David Laurance of Winsted Aug. 11, 1930, one of the founders of Pure Milk Products Company. They had eight children.

She was very active in her parish, particularly as a member of the Catholic Aid, St. Ann, and St. Elizabeth Societies.

Betty Laurance was preceded in death by husband David, infant son David, Jr., sisters Lucy (Ed) Kritzeck and Hedwig (Fred) Archibald, and brother, the Rev. Mark Otto.

She is survived by her children Neal (Anne) of Ann Arbor, Dean of Edina, the Rev. John, S.J., of Milwaukee, Jane (David Nelson) of St. Louis Park, Joan (Giles) Guggemos of St. Paul, Margaret (Bob) Hake of Rochester, and Marian (Ernest) Ramirez of Philadelphia.

She is further survived by 18 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren; brothers Luke (Eleanor) Otto of Lester Prairie, Florian (Frances) Otto of Niles, Mich., and Austin (Mariann) Otto of Lester Prairie; sisters Helen (Tom) Curran of Apple Valley, and Nona (Gene) Weinbeck of Winchester, Va.; and many nieces and nephews.

Friends called at the Chilson Funeral Chapel in Winsted Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 4 to 8 p.m. A St. Anne Rosary was recited at 4:30 p.m. and prayer service was at 7:30 p.m.

A Mass of Christian burial took place Oct. 17, 2002, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, concelebrated by the Rev. John Laurance, S.J., and the Rev. Paul Wolfe, and a number of priests of the Wisconsin Province of the Jesuit order.

Betty's grandchildren served as casketbearers.

Interment was at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church cemetery.

The Chilson Funeral Chapel of Winsted served the family.

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