Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Reese, 1922 – 2019

Services were held June 28 at St Columbkille Catholic Church in Churdan for Elizabeth “Betty” Corrinne Williams Reese, 96, of Churdan.

Father John Gerald was celebrant at the Mass of the Christian Burial. Organist was Michelle Fields and cantor was Greg Carey. Matthew Minnehan was an honorary casket bearer.

Casket bearers were Jason Minnehan, Ryan Lamb, Matthew Percival, Skylar Croy, Anthony Minnehan and David Minnehan. Interment was at St Patrick Catholic Cemetery in Cedar Township.

Elizabeth (Betty) Corrinne Williams Reese was born July 20, 1922 to Francis and Opal (Gingery) Williams in Sioux Falls, SD, and departed this life on June 25, 2019. Betty lived her life to 96 years, 11 months and five days.

In 1923, Betty and her family moved to her grandparents’ farm in Cedar Township. The family moved in 1926 to an acreage near Paton. Betty began her formal schooling in Paton, later moving to Churdan. She graduated from Churdan High School in 1940.

Betty attended the Iowa State Teachers’ College in Cedar Falls for one year. In 1941, Betty began her lengthy teaching career and in 1970, completed her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at from Drake University. Betty taught three years at the Minnehan Country School. In 1944, she taught two years in Readlyn, Iowa. From 1946-1948, Betty taught in the elementary school in Churdan.

On May 23, 1948, Betty married William (Bill) Reese at St. Columbkille in Churdan. Bill was enlisted in the United States Air Force and in September 1948, Betty joined him in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She taught fifth and sixth grade students at the school on the Ramsey Air Force Base for the next three years.

In May 1951, they returned to the United States and were stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base near Shreveport, LA, where Betty taught kindergarten on the base until 1959.

To this union, two daughters were born: Linda and Nancy. In 1959, the family returned to Churdan while Bill was stationed in Goose Bay, Labrador. Betty began teaching in Lohrville Community School in Lohrville. She continued her teaching career there until her retirement in 1986 after 41 years of dedication.

Upon her retirement, Betty traveled extensively throughout the United States. She particularly enjoyed many bus trips with her friend Ann Donnelly. In January 2012, Betty moved to SunnyBrook of Carroll and later was a resident of Regency Park of Carroll.
Although Betty was an only child, she was considered a sister to her many Carey cousins. Many a card game of Nickel and RummiKub were played with her cousins. Betty was an avid reader, enjoyed completing crossword puzzles and watching Jeopardy. Betty thoroughly enjoyed her many years in education and was widely regarded as a favorite teacher.

Betty was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Her easy-going, supportive and patient manner made her special to everyone who knew her. Her wisdom and steadfastness supported many of her students’ learning as well as being a role model. Betty was a member of St. Columbkille Catholic Church, Rosary Society and Catholic Daughters of America.

Betty is survived by her daughters Linda (Quentin) Minnehan of Churdan and Nancy (George) Croy of Appleton, WI; grandchildren Jason (Brooke) Minnehan of Churdan, Michelle Minnehan (Ryan Lamb) of Clive, Kristin (Matthew) Percival of Waukee and Skylar Croy of Madison, WI; and great-granddaughters Ava and Hallee Minnehan, Reese Golightly, Savannah and Charlotte Lamb and Penny Percival.

Betty was proceeded in death by her parents, husband, Bill in 1975 and grandson Matthew Minnehan in 1995.

The family was assisted by Brown Funeral Home of Jefferson.

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