Monday, September 7 after a morning filled with blueberry pancakes and baseball, Betty Shirley Van Etten Lewis took her last earthly breath. Her warm, soft, silly, brave, song filled, and loving heart quieted and she made her journey to her heavenly home surrounded by her children and grandchildren.
Betty was born November 16, 1925 in an upstate New York winter into a joyful large family of meager means. She graduated from Corning High right before WWII ended, married Ronald Lewis and braved a move far away from all she knew to the southern Arizona desert, and then again 20 years later to Western Montana. Her career of nearly 50 years in executive administration spanned corporations, public schools and government. She sang all the time, took piano lessons at 80, co-authored a book at 94, and not only survived, but thrived through several health challenges. Her best work beyond her vocation was raising four children and actively grandparenting her six grands and eight greats.
She was taken from her Montana home three and a half years ago by a fluke accident which left her living in the care of her daughters Denise and Donna in their respective states. She came home to Montana in June.
We know her heavenly welcome included those who journeyed before her: her parents Omar and Marguerite Van Etten, husband Ron, son John Joseph, sisters Wanda, and Pauline, brothers Bobby, Billy and Scoop, friends Gloria, Carol, Bill and Gail. She is survived by her children Denise and Carl Premschak, Daniel and Claire Lewis, David and Deborah Lewis, and Donna and Bill Jones; her grandchildren Hunter, Mylisa and Jesse, Evan and Bre, Lillie, Emily and Joe, and Dylan; and her Great Grandchildren Charlotte, Erik, Lisette, CJ, Lyla, Kole, Skyler and Kadyn; her sisters Marguerite Hill, Norma Wilson, Helen (Vern) Madison, Alicia Lewis and numerous nieces and nephews.
Betty was laid to rest at a family gathering at Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge on September 12, 2020. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Anaconda Pintler Hospice or one close to your heart, and bowl a line, knit for someone, or sing your favorite song. All we ask of you, is forever to remember her as loving you.
Please visit below to offer a condolence or share a memory of Betty. Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Betty and her family.
Please visit Betty’s Caring Bridge site here:
Read the thoughts and memories, then feel free to add your own.
Joe W Ball says
Denise, what a gloriously written memorial of your Mom, and thank you so much for sharing this great tribute to her. Focus on you and your family, and get some rest. You and Carl are genuinely loved and missed by us, Joe and Jeannine in the vicinity of Suches, GA.
Vera Samson says
Miss Betty, I will miss our precious conversations whenever I was blessed to be at family gatherings & got to see you. Always kind, attentive, & loving with such a caring heart for everyone. I miss you, but treasure the times we shared dear Lady…we are all lucky to have you as a dear Guardian Angel always. God bless you…😘🌹