Betty Graves, at the age of 91, passed away peacefully Wednesday August 21, 2019 at Brookdale Senior Living in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Betty was born in Big Stone City, South Dakota to Robert and Pauline Stolpman who farmed in Rosen, Minnesota. Betty attended Bellingham High School and Minneapolis Business College. Betty met Everett on a blind date in 1948 and they were married at St. Joseph’s Church, Rosen in 1950.
Betty and Everett farmed for many years near Hayfield, Minnesota. Betty was active at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, serving as church organist, choir director, and director of religious education programs. Betty enjoyed gardening and cooking. She was the ultimate hostess and always made sure that friends and family were well fed. Betty and Everett enjoyed dancing and would travel to the Terp Ballroom in Austin or the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake to dance to the sounds of the big bands. Betty and Everett also enjoyed camping and in later years seeing the country on bus tours. Betty was the family bookkeeper and historian, keeping detailed journals and records.
Betty and Everett were caregivers to daughter Joanne who acquired a brain tumor in 1984. They moved to La Crosse in 1993 and were active volunteers at St. Joseph’s Rehab Center, where Joanne lived for 17 years. Betty and Everett’s hard work and generosity was acknowledged when they received the Volunteer Service Regional Award in 2003.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents Pauline and Robert, husband Everett, daughter Joanne, sister Sylvia, brother-in-law Charles Baker, and son-in-law Mike. She leaves behind brother Donald Stolpman, son Kenneth (Catherine) Graves, daughter Mary Graves, grandson Robert (Susan) Graves, granddaughter Mary Jo Bell, great grandchildren Colton and Abbygail Graves, niece Susan Baker, niece Cathy (Mark) Steinke, grandnieces Christy (Tony) and Danielle. Betty is further survived by her extended family of Andy (Tanya), Brynlee, and Emalyn Roberts and Nicole (Nick), Rowen, Ellery, and Avery Langer. Betty was reunited with son Dennis (Judy) Segar in 2006.
Dementia compromised Betty’s memory and ability to communicate in recent years. We miss her voice, her laughter, her hugs, and her rhubarb pie.
A Funeral Mass will be at St Patrick’s Church Onalaska on Friday, August 30, 2019 at 11:00. Visitation will be in the gathering space from 10:00 to the time of the service.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Church, Hayfield MN at a later date with interment at Fairview Cemetery in Hayfield MN.
In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Hayfield American Legion, Catholic Charities, or charity of choice.