Tuesday, February 25, 2014 10:53 AM
Betty Halverson, 87, passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home in rural Ridgeway Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, after a 14-month battle with heart failure. May she enter heaven wearing her dancing shoes and feeling young again. Services were at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, at Peace Lutheran Church in Ridgeway, with Pastor Jeff Hansen officiating. Organist was Judy Hovden. Hymns were “Amazing Grace,” “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” “Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling” and “Just as I Am, Without One Plea.” Casketbearers were Brady Halverson, Carrie Carolan, Neal Carolan, Jenna Carolan, Myron Schultz and Gary Schultz. Interment was at Ridgeway City Cemetery, Ridgeway. Arrangements were handled by Schluter – Balik Funeral Home in Decorah.
Betty Halverson was born Bernice Esther Schultz June 5, 1926, in Preston, Minn., the 13th (of 16) child born to Richard and Pauline (Bender) Schultz. Betty was baptized and confirmed at St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Preston. She attended school in Preston. After high school, Betty moved to Harmony where she worked various jobs including working at the Harmony House cooking and waiting tables. Betty loved going to dances with friends. One night at a dance in Canton, she met accordion player, Sid Halverson. Following a whirlwind courtship, they were married June 10, 1946, at the First Lutheran Church in Decorah. They made their home on a farm in Pleasant township, rural Decorah, until they purchased a 120-acre farm one mile west of Ridgeway in the spring of 1951. Betty was a true farm wife, working alongside Sid in the fields and in the barn doing chores and milking cows. They continually were fixing up and making improvements on their place, which included putting in a large farm pond in 1979 so family and friends could enjoy fishing and having picnics. Along with the family reunions, birthday parties, etc. held at “the pond” many church activities were held there, also, including a Sunday morning worship service. Betty and Sid loved sharing their place with everyone. They raised their four children on this farm: Sidney (Jim) James, Ronald (Ronnie) Allen, Norma Jean and John Duane. Besides being a good dance team, Sid and Betty enjoyed going to auctions. Many Saturday nights they would head down to West Union to their friend’s auction house and undoubtedly bring home many “treasures.” For a time in the early ‘70s Betty opened up a consignment store in Ridgeway called the “Bargain Shop” featuring used clothing, furniture and antiques. She was sole proprietor and thoroughly enjoyed running her shop, while still taking care of her tasks on the farm. She closed her shop after the building she was renting was sold. She also sold Aloe Vera products - anyone would be hard pressed to find a better spokesperson for their products. A few years after Sid died in 1986, Betty left the farm and moved to Ridgeway. During this time Betty worked outside the home. She cooked, baked, and waited tables at the “Cow Palace” restaurant at the sale barn in Decorah and ran the lunch stand at the Sunday night “old time” dances at the Legion hall in Harmony, MN. She also worked at her daughter and son-in-law’s convenience store in Ridgeway, making the donuts, rolls, and breakfast pizza four days a week in the wee hours of the morning. She continued working at this convenience store until Dec. 15, 2012, when a massive heart attack left her unable to return to work.
Betty was an active member of the Peace Lutheran Church in Ridgeway, especially enjoying being a member of the Lamplighters Couples Club for many years before the group disbanded. She also looked forward to “do-day” at the WELCA meetings working with the ladies making quilts. Betty was a great cook but enjoyed baking the most. Her grandchildren have fond memories of baking with Grandma, a favorite memory is when she taught them how to make lefse. Hobbies other than baking that Betty enjoyed were traveling; whether going by car, motor home, or airplane, fishing, going to auctions & garage sales, visiting with friends and dancing. She also enjoyed working outside, always pulling weeds or trimming around her yard. She took a lot of pride in how “her place” looked. She was not someone who could sit still for very long; she always had work to do, and was always willing to help someone out. Betty was an independent, self-supportive, working woman who led a very active life taking care of herself, her home and driving most anywhere she wanted to go until Dec. 15, 2012, when a massive heart attack took all that away from her. Not wanting to give in to her illness, she fought to try to get her independence back. Unfortunately, her body did not respond to her will to beat this. It was a long, difficult battle; each day she lost a little more energy and was troubled by a fading memory. This journey of emotional and physical ups and downs was challenging to accept. Not able to care for herself any longer, Betty lived with her daughter and son-in-law since January 2013. Even with her declining health, she treasured her time with her family and her faithful friends. They always brought a smile to her face, especially her great-grandson, Keegan, who always made her laugh and never left her memory.
Betty is survived by her children: Jim (Debbie Roethler) of Cresco, Ronnie (Colleen) of Ridgeway, Norma (Kenny) Carolan of Ridgeway and John of Ridgeway; her grandchildren: Brady Halverson of Ridgeway, Carrie (Hari Hassin) Carolan of Los Angeles, Calif., Neal (Jamie) Carolan of Ames and Jenna Carolan of Boston, Mass.; and great-grandson, Keegan Carolan of Ames; two sisters, Leona Grisham of Shelby, N.C. and Margaret Hemker of Harmony, Minn.; two brothers, Philip (Virginia) Schultz of Remer, Minn. and Kenneth (Mercedes) Schultz of Wykoff, Minn.; sister-in-law, Dorothy Schultz of Rushford, Minn. Betty also is survived by many nieces and nephews; as well as two special four-legged friends, Tootie and Max.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Sidney in 1986; her siblings; Florence (Ralph) Odden, Walter (Gena) Schultz, Rueben (infant), Paul Schultz, Art (Muriel) Schultz, Ann (Orson) Bush, Otto (Leone) Schultz, Carl (Nona) Schultz, Pauline (Clarence) Hanson, Clarence Schultz and Richard (Maxine) Schultz; brothers-in-law, Robert Grisham and Walter Hemker; five nephews: Russell Schultz, Robert Schultz, Ronald Schultz, Curtis Schultz, and Steven Schultz; two nieces, Shirley Hanning and Evelyn Cogley; many dear friends; and close companion Donald Bruess.