Betty Fitz Henry

SOUTH BEND, IN. – Betty Fitz Henry, 87, of South Bend, died peacefully Sunday, at Memorial Hospital after a short illness.

Surviving are her children Rosemary Zirille of Mishawaka, IN, Anne Fitz Henry of Atlanta, GA, Elizabeth Walker of South Bend, and Patrick Fitz Henry (Karen) of Portage, MI. Grandchildren include Nick Zirille, Megan Riesenberg (Ryan), Mitchell Walker, John and Molly Fitz Henry, and great grandchild Erin Riesenberg.

Betty was born on September 19, 1926, in Marquette, MI. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from Northern Michigan University in July of 1950. After a whirlwind romance, she married John F. Fitz Henry of Scranton, PA on December 1, 1951, in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Notre Dame campus. Betty and John were married for 38 years before his death in 1990.

She was a generous, loving, caring wife and mother. She was a seamstress privately and professionally. Betty’s interests in life included (but were not limited to) gardening, sewing, knitting, antiquing, traveling, and following Notre Dame football. She especially enjoyed weekend football parties at her daughter’s home near campus. Over the past several years, Betty kept busy knitting hundreds of hats and scarves for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. She was a faithful parishioner of St. Patricks parish, in South Bend.

Her true passion, however, were her children, grandchildren, and great grandchild Erin, who brought her special joy over the past six years. Betty valued her independence, and was admired by others for her sense of style, as well as her perseverance as she grew older.

She is survived by her brother Robert Bell (Marlene) of Marquette, MI and several nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank Betty’s devoted friends Viki and Joe Dundon for their constant support; longtime housekeeper, Julie Garcia; and Mary Jones of Partners in Personal Care for all of their care and compassion.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 am Friday, January 17, 2014 in St. Patricks Catholic Church, 309 S. Taylor Street, South Bend. Graveside services and burial will follow in Highland Cemetery.

Friends may visit with the family from 4:00 – 8:00 pm Thursday, January 16, 2014 in the Palmer Funeral Home – Hickey Chapel, 17131 Cleveland Road, South Bend, where a rosary will be recited at 4:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Brothers of Holy Cross, PO Box 765, Notre Dame, IN 46556-0765, O’Hana Heritage Foundation, 53131 Quince Road, South Bend, IN 46628, St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Joseph County, Inc., 520 Crescent Avenue, South Bend, IN 46617 or a charity of the donor’s choice. Online condolences may be left for the Fitz Henry family at palmer