Betty J. Christensen, Janesville, WI (1934-2014)
September 22, 1934 - July 13, 2014
Betty J. Christensen, age 79, of Janesville, passed away on Sunday, July 13, 2014, at Agrace HospiceCare, Janesville. She was born on Sept. 22, 1934, at Beloit Hospital, Beloit, WI, the daughter of Robert H. and Jessie A. (Krahn) Bjerk, Sr. She graduated from Beloit Senior High School in Beloit, WI, in 1952. She was a member of the National Honor Society, was 1st Chair Clarinetist in the Beloit High School Marching Band, Orchestra, and Dance Band, and took private clarinet lessons for many years from Louis Dalvit, a famous clarinetist. Betty was in the band that played in the summer time at the Natatorium. She was also the fastest typist in her class and typed tests for her Biology teacher. She was selected to work at Yates American Machine Company after school hours and worked as a secretary and administrative assistant after high school. One of her places of work was The Janesville Foundation when it was first set up. She took several commercial courses at Blackhawk Technical College. She was also a Brownie in elementary school and later a Girl Scout. Betty was united in marriage with Roger Charles Christensen at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Beloit, on May 21, 1955. After her husband’s graduation from UW-Platteville as an Engineer, they ventured out to Leadville, CO, for the next four years with their family. After returning to Wisconsin, they both loved to fish and hunt and spend time with their family. She was better known as “Betty Jean, the Blue Gill Queen.” No matter where they fished, she could always catch fish. One time she thought she had a nice Walleye on, but it turned out to be a huge Blue Gill, 12 ¾ long, and 12 ¾ girth, and she won the prize for the largest Blue Gill caught that summer at Mogasheen Resort near Cable, WI, where they and their families spent vacations up north for 30 years. She was a member of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church from 1965, until the time of her death, where she served on the Altar Guild, member of Adult Fellowship Club for many years, along with attending Bible Classes. She was a Room Mother for all six of her children when they were in elementary school and was an Assistant Girl Scout Leader for the girls in their family. She was a wonderful “at home” mom to all of her children and was famous for her homemade pies.
Betty is survived by her beloved husband of 59 years, Roger; three daughters: Diane Betz, Linda (Scott) Greene, and Judy (Don) Powell, all of Janesville; two sons, Steven of Brodhead and Michael (Jody) of Monroe; eight grandchildren: Meredith Betz, Sam Christensen, Austin and Ashley Greene, Marina, Macy and Matt Powell and Ethan Christensen; several aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews; two brothers, Robert (Charlene) Bjerk, Jr., of Arkdale and Richard Bjerk of Sebring, FL; sister-in-law, Shirley Ruf of Monroe; and brother-in-law, Thomas (Gundula) Christensen. She was preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Kathy; brother-in-law, Bill Ruff; sister-in-law, Sue Bjerk; and step sister-in-law, Ruth Hill.
A Funeral Service will be held at 12 Noon. on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, at ST. PAUL’S EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH, 210 S. Ringold St., Janesville, with Pastor Dan Decker officiating. A visitation will be held on Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. until the time of services at the CHURCH. Memorials may be made to St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church Parking Lot Fund or Agrace HospiceCare Inc., Janesville. Interment will be in Milton Lawns Memorial Park. SCHNEIDER APFEL SCHNEIDER & SCHNEIDER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY is assisting the family. For on-line condolences and registry: www.schneiderfuneraldirectors.com
Special thank you to the doctors and nurses of St. Mary’s Hospital in Janesville, and Madison,
and to Agrace HospiceCare Inc. in Janesville.