Elizabeth (Betty) Ann Vorwerk, 83, of Wausau WI, formerly of Muscatine, IA, passed away peacefully on Monday, April 5th, 2021 while under the care of Azura Memory Care.
Betty was born in Madison, Nebraska on November 15, 1937, to the late William and Emma (Schlienz) Letterman. After graduating from Madison High School in 1956, Betty went on to earn her teaching credentials from Wayne State College. After graduating from college, she began teaching grade school in the country school system in and around Madison. She eventually went on to teach grade school in Omaha NE and Centerville IA, before getting married and moving to Moravia IA, to start a family and open her own floral shop. In 1962 she and her former husband adopted their son, Mark, and then in 1965, their daughter, Alicia. Betty and her family moved to Muscatine IA in 1973, where she then became a single mother to her two children. Betty met and then married her soulmate and the love of her life, Stephen Vorwerk. They were married at St Mary Catholic Church with their 4 children by their side on June 5th, 1976.
Betty was a gifted crafter who loved to cross-stitch, knit, crochet, and quilt, just to name a few. She especially loved learning new crafts and carrying on traditions. She enjoyed gardening and growing her own vegetables and beautiful flowers. She loved to share her harvests with friends and neighbors. Betty was a wonderful cook, she especially loved to bake. Her homemade Rhubarb pie was a family favorite.
Betty lived her life always giving to and helping others. She was very active at church, knitting prayer shawls, making meals for the clergy and church events, helping with the annual Hayes bizarre, and welcoming new parishioners. She delivered meals on wheels, counseled single mothers, welcomed newcomers to the community, and would never turn down an opportunity to help when and wherever she was needed. Betty’s social and joyful personality was a gift to everyone she met.
Betty and her husband Steve loved to travel. They traveled domestically and abroad making many beautiful memories along the way. Among their favorite and most memorable places to travel were, Germany to visit family, Italy (Rome), France, Nova Scotia, Alaska, New York City, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Arizona, and California. Betty and Steve spent their winters in early retirement in Apache Junction AZ. A particular highlight in their life was in 1996 when Betty was the activities director at their winter homes community. Betty coordinated an opportunity through Radio City Music Hall, for the members of their choir to perform in the halftime show at the Superbowl alongside Diana Ross. She and Steve rehearsed many long hours with 100’s of others to do their part and make it a spectacular performance on national television. It was a thrill for her and all that watched that day.
Most important to Betty was her family. She was so proud of all her children and her Grandchildren. She loved traveling and shopping with her sister and brother-in-law Mary Jane and Dean, who reside in Tustin CA, and was grateful for all the holidays and time spent with her other sister Patricia who lived close in IA, until moving to Panama City Beach FL to retire. She felt so much gratitude for all the extended family she gained and grew very close to when she married Steve. Her home was always a buzz with visitors, family, friends, and neighbors. Betty will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.
Betty is survived by her children, Mark (Felicia) Schupp and Alicia (Doug) Gjertson; step-daughter, Mary (Martin) Beckey; step-son-in-law, Scott Hemesath; grandson, Marcus Schupp; step-grandchildren, Sarah (Jason) Randleman, Andy Beckey, Alexia “Lexie” (Jonathan) Sheridan, and Katherine “Katie” (Mike) Hoerner; step-great-grandchildren, Jack and Keller Randleman and Ian Sheridan; as well as her sisters, Mary Jane (Dean) Strenger and Patricia Luth.
In addition to her parents, Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Stephen; step-daughter, Roberta Hemesath, and step-grandson Jacob Vorwerk.
Betty’s wishes were to be cremated at the Brainard Funeral Home in Wausau WI and for funeral services to take place in her hometown, with burial next to her husband in Muscatine IA.
Funeral Mass will be 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 1st at the St. Mathias Church, in Muscatine IA. Private burial will take place in St. Mary’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made to the Alzheimer’s Association in Betty’s honor. The Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements in Muscatine.
Family and friends are encouraged to visit www.brainardfuneral.com or www.wittichfuneralhome.com to leave words of remembrance and online condolences.