Betty J. Eilbes, 89, of Beaver Dam passed away peacefully on Thursday, December 10, 2020 at the Beaver Dam Memory Care.
Betty Jane was born on October 23, 1931 the daughter of Helen Nowak in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After a tragic car accident and the loss of her mother at the age of 5, Betty would be raised by her grandparents John W. and Bertha (Kasmiski) Nowak of Randolph. Later, Betty would care for her grandmother in her home.
Betty graduated from Randolph High School in 1949. On August 23, 1951 she married Ambrose S. Eilbes.
As a loving wife, mother and grandmother Betty devoted her time to her family. She supported her community as a member of the Christian Mothers Society at St. Gabriel’s and served on the Prairie Vista School Board. Having three developmentally disabled children–two who were severely disabled– Betty quickly learned by experience that changes needed to be made in how the disabled were cared for and how their parents were treated by institutions and society. As a result, she became involved at the local and state levels advocating for those needed changes in the 1960s and ‘70s. She continued for many years to serve as a member of Arc Dodge County and The Arc Wisconsin with roles including president, secretary, treasurer and state director. She also was a member State of Wisconsin Ethics Committee and served for many years as a member of the residential care and the ethics committees of Central Wisconsin Center for the Developmentally Disabled where her three children resided.
After her children were grown, Betty attended some classes and joined the workforce. She worked in the offices of Busse Bros., an attorney, a funeral home and a medical laboratory until her retirement.
Betty found enjoyment in reading, sewing, knitting, crocheting, bowling and playing cards with family and friends. She was always ready to attend any activity her children or grandchildren were involved in. She was outgoing and enjoyed people. Visiting family, friends and new places near and far were high on her list of priorities.
As a volunteer, she organized many class reunions for her Randolph classmates of ’49 and served as secretary for the Beaver Dam Senior Citizens Bowling League.
Betty is survived by her daughters Sandra (Robert) Browning of Livingston, Montana; Judy Eilbes of Madison, Doris Eilbes of Madison, son Loren (Janice Kepka) Eilbes of Madison; grandchildren Jesse (Kayla) Eilbes of Cambria; Cody (Ashley) Eilbes of Fox Lake; and Robert Eilbes of Randolph; great-grandchildren Graeson Casillas and Finley Eilbes.
She was preceded in death by her mother; her grandparents; her husband Ambrose in 1990 and her son James in 2012.
Private family graveside services for Betty will be held at Annunciation Catholic Cemetery in Randolph with the Rev. John Hedrick officiating.
The Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at www.koepsellfh.com.