Betty J. EllisSeptember 9, 1930 ~ July 15, 2020 (age 89)
Betty J. Ellis, nee, Entwistle, age 89, of Swansea, IL, born on September 3, 1930 in Oglesby, IL died on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at Caseyville Nursing and Rehab, Caseyville, IL.
Betty worked hard from an early age, first at Westclox in LaSalle, Illinois at the age of 16, then Lehigh Cement Company in Oglesby, Illinois where she met her husband Ronald. While Ronald was in Korea she took in laundry and ironing to support herself. Finally, she worked at Owens-Illinois Glass Factory in Streator, Illinois for over 25 years before retiring in 1990. When her husband, Ron, in 1964 suffered a severe work injury requiring hospitalization with surgery for over a month in Chicago, she juggled fulltime work, taking care of two young children, doing the upkeep of 100-year-old farm house on 5 acres, traveling to Chicago and helping with his recovery.
She loved soaking up the sun, dancing, music and singing, reading romance and mystery novels, doing crossword puzzles, having large annual summer picnics at the farm, seeing movies and taking near daily long outdoor walks with her dogs along the Vermillion and Illinois Rivers. Betty and Ron greatly enjoyed being founding members of the Starved Rock Model A Club after Ron completely restored a 1931 vehicle, participating in car shows and parades in northern Illinois.
Betty traveled across the United States and Europe visiting her daughters whose husbands both were in the military. For Ron and Betty’s 50th anniversary they traveled to Belgium where their youngest daughter Rhonda’s husband was stationed. While there they saw many places in Ireland, England, France and Belgium.
Betty’s greatest gift was being a grandmother to Rachel Farrell and Glenn Stivers whom she adored and visited often. She was found often on the floor coloring, playing Barbies or trucks.
She loved laughing and made friends easily everywhere she went, never meeting a stranger. Even as dementia and then Alzheimer’s gripped her there occasionally could be seen a spark of her younger self that drew people to her.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ronald Ellis; and her parents, George Entwistle and Emma Baima, nee Picco, and her step-father, Phillip Baima.
Betty is survived by her children, Gail (Dorsie) Stivers and Rhonda (William) Farrell; her grandchildren, Rachel Farrell and Glenn Stivers; her half brother and sister, John Baima and Catherine Zimmer; and her brother-in-law, Barry Ellis.
The family wishes to express special thanks to Betty’s close friends Linda and Fred Holdcraft, Caseyville Nursing Home, VITAS Healthcare, especially Jennifer, Charles Gardens Retirement Home, Clay Mason of Edward Jones, and Father James Nall, Father Nick Junker of Holy Trinity Catholic Church.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Fairview Heights, IL and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, July 26, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Kassly Mortuary, Ltd., Fairview Heights, IL. A Memorial Mass will be held at 9 a.m., Monday, July 27, 2020 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Fairview Heights. COVID restrictions including masks and social distancing will be observed.
A private burial of cremated remains will be held at Oak Hill Cemetery, Utica, IL at a later date.
Holy Trinity Catholic Church