Betty Schwarze, 90, of Apple Valley, MN, formerly of Ortonville, MN, died on March 30, 2017.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, April 8, at 11 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ortonville with Rev. Dennis O’Neill officiating.
Visitation will be at the church one hour prior to the service. Burial will be in Mound Cemetery.
Betty Katherine Schwarze was born on January 9, 1927. She was the daughter of Henry and Laura (Buttke) Benting of Corona and later Milbank, SD. She and her brother, Milton, grew up on the family farm near Corona, SD. After attending high school in Corona, Betty received her teaching degree from Northern State College in Aberdeen, SD and taught two years in rural schools.
On September 9, 1946, Betty was united in marriage to Elmer G. Schwarze. They were married 48 years until his death in 1994. Betty worked with Elmer on their rural Ortonville farm and remained living there until the fall of 2011. She later moved to Apple Valley, MN to be closer to her family.
For more than 20 years, Betty taught Sunday School at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ortonville, where she implemented the first Vacation Bible School (ecumenical) for special education children. She helped with resource materials and questionnaires in writing religious materials for Concordia College, St. Louis, Missouri. Betty also served over 20 years on the alter guild for Trinity Lutheran Church.
In the early 1970’s, Betty attended Mankato State College and completed her Human Relations Program to become the first Director of the Day Activity Center in Clinton, MN. The six years she worked there, Betty attended conferences, observed many State institutions and Day Activity Centers and continued receiving credits in special education. Betty was an ARC member and served on the Development Disabilities Board. Betty substitute taught for several years at Ortonville and Big Stone City schools.
In Betty’s home there was always room at her table and food to enjoy for anyone who visited the farm. Betty enjoyed and facilitated holiday and milestone celebrations with her family and friends. Betty traveled near and far, before, and after Elmer’s death, her favorite place being Hawaii. She and Elmer are remembered for their gift of providing winter sleigh rides to many children and adults in the area. Betty loved her church and her community. She loved spending time with family and friends and especially with her grandchildren.
Preceding Betty in death were husband, Elmer; son, Todd; daughter, Brenda (Bill) Sellin; parents, Henry and Laura (Buttke) Benting; and brother, Milton Benting.
Betty is survived by her daughters, Diane (Larry) Lotzer of Hampton, MN; Eileen (Dennis) Dirlam of Ottertail, MN; and Debra Schwarze of Richland Center, WI; sisters-in-law, Ruby (Milton) Benting and Frieda Wellnitz, both of Milbank, SD; eight grandchildren, Tony Pinkert (Ericka), Tim Pinkert (Cathy), Tara Hedlund (Jim), Aaron Dirlam (Elizabeth), Joshua Dirlam (Rachel), Brian Sellin, Ben Sellin (Emily) and Dan Sellin (Velvet); and twelve great-grandchildren, Skylar, Mya, Jack, Grace, Hannah, Hunter, Maggie, Isabelle, Zachary, Norah, Clay and Charlotte.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to Main Street Industries and Training Center, Inc., 93 Main Street, Clinton MN 56225 (formerly the Day Activity Center) are welcomed.