Elizabeth M. ‘Betty’ Olsen

MARQUETTE, MI. Elizabeth Marie “Betty” Olsen, age 89, of Marquette, entered eternal life early Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at her home, in the loving, comforting care of her family and Lake Superior Hospice.

Born December 19, 1924, in Butternut, Wisconsin, a daughter of Theodore A. and Louise M. (Mahowald) Veiht, Betty was raised in Marquette and graduated from Bishop Baraga High School in 1941. Following graduation, Betty went to work as a bookkeeper at her father’s business, Public Service Garage. On June 18, 1945, Betty was united in marriage to Russell H. Olsen at St. Peter Cathedral.

The couple moved to Kalamazoo, but within a few years, returned to Marquette to make their home and raise their seven children. For many years, Betty was a stay at home mom and homemaker and Russell was self-employed as a carpenter/contractor.

The couple enjoyed bowling on Elks leagues and going to dances. Following Russell’s death on July 2, 1971, Betty began working as a cook with the hot lunch program at St. Michael School and, years later, became cook/housekeeper for Msgr. Joseph Dunleavy at St. Michael Rectory. Following many years of service at the school and rectory, Betty retired in 1987. Throughout the years, she was also a faithful and devoted volunteer at the parish. Betty served as Altar Society President for many years – heading countless bazaars, luncheons, parish celebrations, funeral receptions, and special events, working alongside the many good, hardworking and devoted women that make up the Altar Society. She only retired from the society when her daughter, Lisa, took over, but retained an interest in their many activities.

Betty had many interests and hobbies, chief among them was playing Scrabble every day. She was a Charles Schultz fan and loved everything Snoopy. Betty was a great cook and avid reader; enjoyed tending to her beautiful garden, swimming in her backyard pool, and bike riding around Presque Isle to get an ice cream cone. She loved her home and watching the birds and animals that frequented her yard. Betty and daughter, Lisa, were familiar sights as they took her schnauzers, Lucy and Pepper, on daily walks around Marquette’s eastside neighborhoods. Travel was also a great pleasure Betty enjoyed. Whether it was piling all of the kids in the Vista Cruiser and heading to Florida, relaxing with her brother, Jack and sister-in-law, Elode, in Mexico, or visiting daughter, Patty and family in Syria, lasting, wonderful memories were always made.

Betty is survived by her children, David Olsen of Colorado Springs, CO, Becky (Bryan) Oberstar of Traunik, Lisa (Herman) Eleby of Marquette, Lois Ross of Ft. Myers, FL, Michael Olsen of Marquette, and Patricia (Ammar) Nofal of Marquette; a son-in-law, Melvin Anderson of Negaunee; her grandchildren, Jennifer (Chris) Pickard, Erika (Bradley) Potila, Russell (Tara) Anderson, Sherri (Frank) Skinner, Stacy (Brian) Elliott, Michelle Eleby, Aaron (Christine) Eleby, Hannah (Josh) Ross, Ted (Kim) Ross, Michael Olsen, Hamoody, Zayd and Ramsey Nofal; 15 great-grandchildren; her brother, John “Jack” (Elode) Veiht of Marquette; several nieces and nephews; and her “girls” Lucy and Pepper.

In addition to her parents and husband, Betty was preceded in death by a daughter, Christine Anderson; daughter-in-law, Nina Olsen; infant sister, Mary Jane Veiht; and sisters, Theodora (P. John “Jack”) Olson and Lois Ann Yuma.

The family will receive relatives and friends at St. Michael Catholic Church on Friday, February 14, 2014 beginning at 10:00 a.m. until noon. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 12:00 noon with Rev. Larry Van Damme, pastor, as celebrant. Pallbearers will be grandchildren, Aaron, Hamoody, Zayd and Ramsey. A reception will follow in the St. Michael Parish Center with the devoted women of St. Michael Altar Society serving, just as Betty would have wanted. Burial will be made in the spring at Holy Cross Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Michael Altar Society, Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter (UPAWS), or Lake Superior Hospice Association.

The Fassbender Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at fassben derfuneralhome.com