It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our mother, Betty Jane Strzelecki (née Westendorf) on Saturday, August 29th due to complications of dementia and longevity. Betty was a native of Richmond, Indiana, and a daughter to the late Clarence and Helen Westendorf. Left to mourn her passing are; her daughters, Jill Lange and Jane Kuhnell, son-in-law, Mark Kuhnell, grandchildren, Oliver, Emily, Sophie, Jack, Ella, Gwendolyn, and Karen, her sister Joan Brandenburg, nieces Barbara Sullivan and Debbie Miller, nephew Brian Weiss and their families, and special friends and acquaintances…including Virginia Berheide and Judy Slawinsky. She was preceded in death in 2008 by her beloved husband, Ted. Who knew that a chance meeting at a hotel bar would be a life-changing event for two middle-aged people?
Never a fan of gym class, she was allowed to fulfill her P.E. requirement at Richmond Senior High School with a marksmanship class at 15, and became a member of the first female rifle club in Richmond, IN. After graduating from high school in 1947, she was off to Cincinnati to study Dietetics at the College of Mount Saint Joseph. Betty received her B.S. degree in Dietetics in 1951 and afterward completed her internship at Charlotte Memorial Hospital. She worked as a registered dietician in many different capacities for more than 30 years, with a brief break to marry Ted and mother her two daughters. Betty was appointed assistant Head Dietitian at Reid Memorial Hospital, and after 5 years took a position as Head Dietician at Community Hospital. During this time she took the initiative to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Caribbean, and Russia. After her relocation to Michigan, Betty took an R.D. position with Macomb County’s Senior Citizen Nutrition Program. She also had a hand in our local Meals-on-Wheels and Headstart programs. Betty retired from Macomb County in 1994 after 20 years of service.
During their retirement years, Betty and her husband, Ted Strzelecki enjoyed spending time on Treasure Island, FL every winter at the Suncoast Motel with many fun and interesting people. They also regularly road tripped to visit daughters, Jill and Jane, and their families, appreciating time spent with their grandchildren. An avid reader, Betty happily served on the board of Macomb County Library, and regularly attended high school and college reunions to catch up with her former cohorts. Mom’s Catholic faith was also of importance to her and she and dad were regular attendees at St. Paul of Tarsus Catholic Church.
The family would like to thank Chesterwood Village for their many years of providing Betty with excellent care, and Heartland Hospice for comforting her in her final days of life.
A funeral service will be held at 1:00 PM Friday, September 4, 2020, at Stegall-Berheide-Orr Funeral Home, Richmond Indiana, with Deacon Jim Miller officiating. Burial will follow at St. Andrew’s Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will precede the funeral service from 11 am to 1 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested commemorative donations be made to Mount St. Joseph University, or the Clinton-Macomb Public Library. Condolences may be sent to the family via the guest book at stegallberheideorr.com.