Life Story / Obituary
Betty Wolters was a warm and loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Modeling a lifetime of giving selflessly to others in need, she lived her life to the fullest. Caring deeply for every person she met, Betty loved to celebrate the many successes of her close-knit family over the years. Betty will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by all who were privileged to know and love her.
Although the Thirties were marked by tough economic times, the decade also saw an expansion of new technologies, especially in the areas of radio and film. Frederick and Anna (Fumahauser) Gilde welcomed home their newborn baby girl, Betty Lou, on April 25, 1933, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Born about two years after her older sister, Dorothy, Betty’s birth brought great joy to the family home.
Growing up in the North Park area, she was raised by a set of hard-working parents. Her father worked as a local chiropractor in town a short distance from their family home and her mother was a homemaker. As much as she and her sister grew to love one another, they had their sibling squabbles. During one such argument, Dorothy knocked out two of Betty's bottom teeth! Betty enjoyed school and loved to socialize. During her early adolescent years, she also pitched in to help around her dad’s office. Typical of the times, she enjoyed going to local dance halls with her girlfriends. Full of energy and always one to have fun, there was never an idle moment with Betty!
After graduating from high school, she met the man of her dreams, Lewis “Bud” Millard. The two of them hit it off and began dating. Shortly after they were married they began to work on their family and soon welcomed their son, Lew, into their hearts and home. Sadly, when Lew was just three months old, Bud was struck and killed by an automobile. Tragic and sudden, Betty was faced with the heartache of grief yet Lew brought out the best in her. She faced each day with a positive attitude and zest for life. Later, she met Loren Wolters, who was a perfect match for her! They joined in marriage on May 20, 1956, at the North Park Presbyterian Church. The newlyweds moved into their forever home on Ellsmere NE and welcomed two more children to complete their family.
Betty took her role as a mother seriously. She held a tight schedule to ensure that her home was neat and tidy and that her children had the best of care. Driven by routine, she washed on Mondays and Thursdays, cleaned the floors on Friday, and spent much of her time balancing the family budget, making grocery lists, and prepping in the kitchen! She loved to buy fresh produce from the local farmer’s market and then spend time canning and storing the jars in the basement to enjoy the foods year ‘round! Active and involved in her children’s lives, she enjoyed volunteering at their schools. Without missing a beat, however, dinner was promptly served hot and ready each and every night at 5 pm! During the summer months, the kids took turns gathering at neighbor kids’ homes and the moms would visit over coffee once their chores were done for the day! Due to these special arrangements, Betty made many lasting friendships in their neighborhood as they watched their children grow. As a family, they enjoyed many camping trips throughout Michigan or visiting her parent’s cabin or cottage. Making many lasting memories together as a family was very important to Betty.
When the kids had grown, Betty re-entered the workforce by working as a library aide at Northview Schools and later became the secretary at Highlands Middle School for several years. She was also the President of the Santa Claus Girls, an organization that bought, wrapped, and delivered presents to those in need through community fundraising. Her attention to detail and organization skills were surely utilized by her involvement and freely giving of her time and resources also modeled for her children the idea of serving others. She and Loren were also very active in their home church, Faith Lutheran. They had a very special bond. Betty took care of the indoor household tasks and Loren managed the outdoor chores. They never seemed to have arguments enjoyed playing cards, going bowling, and traveling together over the years.
During their retirement years, Betty and Loren were thrilled to pursue their many special interests, yet were most fond of the time they spent with their family. Blessed with many grandchildren, they enjoyed supporting their many special events and activities. For relaxation, Betty enjoyed reading, especially spiritual books, as well as completing puzzles, and knitting. Most of all, Betty will be remembered for her presence to her family. She was so very loving and caring; treating each and every one of them with special kindness. Sadly, she passed away and her family has no doubt that she is reunited with her sweetheart, Loren, in Heaven. May her memories endure forever and may her loved ones never question the immense love she had for them over the years.
Betty L. Wolters, age 86, of Grand Rapids, passed away February 24, 2020. Betty was preceded in death by her first husband, Lewis "Bud" Millard; her second husband of 63 years, Loren; her son, Gary Wolters; and her sister, Dorothy Jenkins. Betty is survived by her children Lew & Pat Wolters, Shellie & Dennis Tietz, Leigh Wolters; grandchildren Eve-Lyn Wolters, Leah Frazier, Ryan Wolters, Rachel Wolters, Ashley (Brian) Ball, Alyssa (Ryan) House, Aubrey Schultz, Laura (Jake) Tietz; great-grandchildren Bomin and Danika, Kendall, Hayden and Ava, Sophia and Charlie, Baby Ball due in May, Abrianna, Reagan and Connor; brother-in-law Gordon Wolters, as well as nieces and nephews. Friends and relatives are invited to visit with Betty’s family at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home –1833 Plainfield Ave NE on Saturday, February 29, 2020, from 4–5:30 PM. To share a memory or photo, or to sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com.