Betty was born in Sheboygan, WI to Emily (Pfister) Bearns and Christ Bearns. Lawrence “Larry” Leonhard became her much loved “father” when he and Emily married.
Betty graduated from Sheboygan North High School with the class of 1952. In high school Betty enjoyed her winters ice skating and summer free time in Elkhart Lake while working for a local family at their cottage. After high school Betty worked at Hand Knit Hosiery (later WigWam Mills). She remained in contact with many of her high school classmates through the years as a member of the class reunion committee.
Betty Bearns and Donald Keller were married in Sheboygan July 3, 1954 at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church. They were blessed with 4 daughters; Janel (Barry) Kunert, Roxanne (deceased in infancy), Lorie (Tim) Rath, and Tammy (Brian) Rammer. Betty was a fun and loving grandmother to her 3 grandchildren; Lisa Rath, Erin Kunert, and Kevin Rammer.
Betty and Don were dedicated members of the D’Werdenfelser Schuhplattler Verein, participating in Bavarian folk dancing events throughout the years. She retired after many years of work at Imogene’s Cleaning Center. In retirement, she enjoyed “lunching”, traveling to play BINGO, and shopping at craft fairs with her friends. Betty created many beautiful counted cross stitch embroidery pieces to give as gifts to her family and friends. She was proud of the Sheboygan County Fair 1st Premium ribbon awarded to her for one of her intricate cross stitch projects.
Betty’s German Potato Salad (with her “secret sauce”) was often requested for picnics or meals with family and friends. She made mountains of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies over the years (that disappeared much too fast). Holidays and family gatherings always provided opportunities for her family to share memories and create new ones.
Betty is survived by 3 daughters and their spouses, 3 grandchildren, her brother and sister-in-law Dennis and Nancy Bearns, nephews Clay (Margaret) Seehaver, and Jim (Sandy) TenPas, and cousin Richard “Dick”(Judy) Pfister. She is also survived by Nancy (Jeff) Johnson, Trisha Kastelic, Pat LaRocha, and many more distant relatives. She was preceded in death by her husband, her infant daughter, her parents, her sister and brother-in-law Patricia (Ervin) TenPas, her dear aunt Lydia LaRocha, uncle John (Rogene) Pfister, nieces Michelle Bearns and Wendy Shanholz, and cousin Floyd LaRocha.
A private service is planned for Betty’s family. Please remember Betty by sharing a fond memory of her with her family or friends. Donations in memory of Betty Keller may be made to the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice, The Alzheimer’s Association, or a charity of your choice.
Betty’s family members are grateful to her dear friends and the many caring Countryside Manor and Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice staff members who demonstrated their kindness through their support of Betty and her family.