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Elizabeth Bettcher, 79

Elizabeth “Liz” Ann (Gruer) Bettcher, age 79, of Lester Prairie, passed away Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, at her home.

She was born April 18, 1933, in New Auburn Township, the daughter of Ernest and Lillie (Wolf) Gruer. Elizabeth was baptized as an infant June 11, 1933, by the Rev. E. Kolbe at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Glencoe, and was confirmed in her faith as a youth March 30, 1947, by the Rev. W. F. Mueller at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in New Auburn.

She received her education in Glencoe, and was a graduate of the Glencoe High School class of 1951. Liz furthered her education by attending Bemidji State University for four years. She received a teaching degree in physical education and health.

Liz was united in marriage to Lewis “Butch” Bettcher June 9, 1956, by the Rev. W. F. Mueller at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Auburn. Liz and Butch made their home in Lester Prairie. God blessed their marriage with three sons, Joel, James, and Joshua. They shared and enjoyed over 56 years of marriage.

In addition to being a loving wife, mother, and homemaker, Liz taught physical education and health in Madison for one year, and in Watertown for four years.

While raising her three boys, Liz helped to support her family by running the company books, substitute teaching, and volunteering her time and effort as a Cub Scout den leader.

Lester Prairie was very important to Liz. She served many years as an election judge, volunteered countless hours at the local bloodmobile, and helped conduct health screenings at the school.

A faithful member of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie, Liz taught Sunday school, and was an active member of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, where she held numerous offices and lovingly organized the “Dessert Bar Room” for funerals.

Liz’s passions included sewing, gardening, cooking, baking, bowling, and dancing. She also loved helping at church and making mission quilts. Liz treasured the time she spent with her family, and especially enjoyed her grandchildren’s company.

Elizabeth is survived by her husband, Lewis “Butch” Bettcher of Lester Prairie; sons Joel Bettcher and his wife, Amy, of Lester Prairie, James Bettcher and his wife, Brenda, of Glencoe, and Joshua Bettcher and his wife, Kim, of Detroit Lakes; and grandchildren Nicholas Bettcher, Bethany Bettcher, Leah Bettcher, David Bettcher, Jacob Bettcher, Alexandra Bettcher, and Gabriella Bettcher.

She is further survived by her sisters, Gladys Bartels, and Pearl Ortloff and her husband, Kenneth, all of Glencoe; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends.

Elizabeth was preceded in death by her parents, Ernest and Lillie Gruer; a granddaughter, Natalie Bettcher; a sister, Marlys Anderson; and a brother-in-law, Leslie Bartels.

Funeral services celebrating Elizabeth’s life took place Thursday, Jan. 10 at 11 a.m. at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie, with interment following in the church cemetery. The Rev. Eric Nelson officiated for the service. Jane Holasek was the organist. Congregational hymns included “I Am But A Savior Here,” “I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” and “God Loves Me Dearly.”

Casket bearers were Nicholas Bettcher, Chris Anderson, Steve Ortloff, Keith Ortloff, Jon Ortloff, and Pat Feltmann.

Arrangements were by the Paul-McBride Funeral Chapel of Lester Prairie. Online obituaries and guest book are available at www.hantge.com; click on Obituaries/Guest Book.