Betty Duggan Sowinski slipped peacefully from this world in the early morning hours of December 3rd, 2022.
Betty was born to Margaretha Pauline Wilhelmina Reinicke and Lyle Edward Duggan on October 20, 1920, in Detroit Michigan. She saw and experienced a great deal throughout her 102-year lifetime, and through it all she was surrounded by the love of her friends and family, supported by her undeniable faith in Jesus as her savior.
Her beginnings were humble, growing up in Wausau Wisconsin during the Great Depression. And by the age of 10, Betty had already lost her little sister, Joyce, to Diphtheria. The impact of that loss and those years as a youth during the depression created vivid memories that stayed with her.
She shared stories of childhood recanting when to stay warm enough at school, she had to wear her pajamas under her school clothes. And the only shoes she had to wear were her grandmother’s so she could walk to school.
She remembered riding the trolly to the Rothchild Pavilion to ride the Ferris Wheel, or in winter the long walk to the skating rink. It was her love of ice skating as a young woman that would prove to seal her destiny with a certain young man with whom she fell in love, Aloise Sowinski. As their relationship grew, World War II broke out, and when Al enlisted in the Army, he proposed.
So, Betty followed him traveling to Los Angeles in late May of 1942 so she and Al could marry on Memorial Day, just weeks before Al shipped out to serve in the South Pacific and Guadalcanal. After the wedding, Betty found work in LA as one of the original “Rosie the Riveters” helping to assemble heavy artillery and bomb casings.
After Al’s tour of duty was up, he and Betty returned to Wausau where Al found work as a brick layer and Betty worked as a nurse’s aide. With their family growing, they eventually decided to build and operate a motel along old East Grand Ave in Rothchild.
Always concerned with appearances, Betty wanted everyone to look their best. So when musicians from her son’s band would occasionally stay over, she’d quietly tiptoe through the house while they slept collecting their clothes to wash and iron them, so they’d look “proper”, for their next performance.
Betty was a prolific poet and painter. An artist in her own right, finding inspiration in sweet visions of children at play, religious depictions, or pastoral landscapes that pulled the viewer with her into another place and time.
The years flew by as their children grew, married, and raised families of their own. Betty’s progeny included 5 children, 6 Grandchildren, 9 Great-Grandchildren, and 3 Great-Great-Grandchildren. As she aptly put it… she was blessed.
Betty was preceded in death by her sister Joyce, Father Lyle, Mother Margaret and Stepfather Dick Sanders, along with her husband Aloise, daughters Marlys and Linda, Brother-In-Law Mel Tramitz, Great Grandson Randy Driscoll, and Sons-In-Law Gregg Spacher and Tom Driscoll.
Survivors include her sister Sally Tramitz; children Marcia Spacher, Sally Driscoll, Son-In-Law Jack Schade, and Paul (Ginny) Sowinski; Grandchildren Dan Spacher, Jim (Shelly) Driscoll, Erin (Austin) Henderson, Dana (Jeff) Jones, Alex Sowinski, and Rachel (Rory Crocker MacMillin) Sowinski; and her many Great, and Great-Great Grandchildren.
Services for Betty will be held at 2:00 P.M. Monday, December 19 at the Brainard Funeral Home, Everest Chapel, Weston with Pastor Dennis Romine officiating. Visitation will be held from 12:00 P.M. until the time of services. Burial will take place at a later date in Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a charitable donation on Betty’s behalf to these worthy nonprofits:
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Peninsula School of Art, PO Box 304, Fish Creek, WI 54212 http://www.PeninsulaSchoolofArt.org
Brainard Funeral Home of Weston is assisting the family with arrangements.