Betty Jane Ellis, 90, died peacefully at home on June 9. She was adored by her three children, six grandchildren and by all the people in her life charmed by her caring and grace.
Betty was born in Waunakee, WI, the youngest of nine children. She told her kids about swaying on a tree swing as a young girl imagining a life of adventure and service. She trained to become an X-ray Technician at St. Mary's in Madison and eventually married Bill Ellis. Her life included the joys of traveling and experiencing the world and the devotion and compassion to helping her community.
Betty Jane never met a child she didn't like and she committed much of her volunteer and charitable efforts to young people. She actively supported Operation Bootstrap in Stevens Point, regularly visited teens in the Portage County jail detention program through Prison Ministry, sneaking in candy bars; mentored young mothers in Carefree, AZ, and actively supported the work of Covenant House helping homeless teens. Betty also opened her home to teens from nearby and from the other side of the world.
Betty loved to entertain and had a gift for making friends and strangers welcome. Her easy demeanor made everyone from all backgrounds comfortable. Grammy Bets had a sly, slightly sassy sense of humor that tickled adults and her grandchildren alike. Betty loved her golf foursome, her lifelong Stevens Point friends, Door County, gardening and her family.
Survivors include children Jan-ann (Richard) White, Bill (Michelle) Ellis III and Peggy (Bob) Brasser; grandchildren Megan White (Matt) Pletzer, Alyson White (Ryan) Hoffman, Will Ellis IV, Emily Ellis, Jason Brasser and Molly Brasser; great-grandchildren Noelle Pletzer, Ashlynn Pletzer and Stella Elizabeth Hoffman. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Ellis Jr.
The family is especially grateful to our parents' devoted caregivers who have provided their love and support over the last several years. Thank you.
A service in honor of Betty's life will be scheduled in the future. A memorial has been established with Operation Bootstrap. Donations may be mailed to 5000 Heffron St, Stevens Point, WI 54481