Betty Jane (Graham) Stitzel
June 23, 1918 ‒ August 03, 2015
MANSFIELD: Betty Jane (Graham) Stitzel, a grand lady who led a grand life, passed away on August 3, 2015, at her Mansfield Wedgewood home. Formerly of Rockford, Illinois, and Tucson, she reached the age of 97 with class, feistiness and humor.
Betty was born June 23, 1918, in Arnold, Nebraska, to Benjamin Franklin and Bessie (Saunders) Graham. She graduated from Kearney Nebraska High School, attended the Nebraska State Teachers College, and then moved to Chicago with girlfriends to attend the Cook County School of Nursing. Betty graduated with an RN degree in 1939. After working briefly as a private duty nurse, in 1942 she married Robert Stitzel, a dental student at Chicago’s University of Illinois College of Dentistry.
Following WWII when Dr. Robert Stitzel was discharged from the military, he and Betty settled in Rockford, Illinois. Their busy lives were filled with raising a family and caring for each other. Betty enjoyed playing golf, bowling, gardening, doing needlepoint, and entertaining friends and family. She and Bob traveled extensively throughout the world.
Betty was an active member of the Rockford community. Using her nursing background, she established the first auditory testing program in the Rockford school system. She was a longtime volunteer at Rockford Memorial Hospital and a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Rockford Country Club, and the University Club. After Bob’s retirement from dental practice, they moved fulltime to their Tucson home.
Survivors include her daughter Barbara and son-in-law Dr. Robert Struble of Mansfield and son Robert D. (Linda) Stitzel, Jr., of Woodland Hills, California. Grandchildren include Susan L. (David) Cole with great-grandchildren Quinton and Benjamin of Piedmont, California; and Dr. Stephen G. Struble (Jennifer) of Raleigh, North Carolina.
In addition to her parents, Betty was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years who died in 2009 and her four rambunctious brothers: Dulworth, Dudley, Douglas and Jack.
Although no public service will be held in Betty’s memory, we hope that you will honor her in your heart in your own special way. Her family will celebrate her life during a private burial in Nelson, Illinois, at a later date.
Our family would like to thank Betty’s BFF’s: “Betty 2,” Margie and Jan; her care givers Cate and Karen and the staff at Wedgewood for their always caring support.
The Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home is assisting the Stitzel family with cremation services and online condolences to them may be made by visiting:SnyderFuneralHomes.com