Bettie Roush (nee Nuckolls), Sparta/Cottage Grove Wisconsin
On November 6, 2018, our beloved mother and matriarch, Bettie Roush, passed away at the age of 98. Bettie was born in Omaha, Nebraska on April 16, 1920 to William Hunter Nuckolls and Margaret (Murray) Nuckolls. Bettie was married to her soulmate and best friend, Don Roush, on January 17, 1948. They loved and laughed through 54 years of marriage. Bettie and Don’s first date was spent dancing at Omaha’s Peony Park on a summer’s night. This was the start of a lifetime moving together, almost as one, to the music of the Big Band era. Bettie and Don had five children who Bettie dedicated her life to.
Bettie never knew a stranger and made friends wherever she went. She had a way of making everyone around her feel special and loved. She led an active and powerful life living it to the fullest. She was a born athlete earning a high school letter in riflery, and played and coached softball for the Omaha Union Pacific Railroad women’s team during the 1940’s. Bettie loved to golf and sank a hole-in-one at the age of 70. She was proud of her 162 bowling average but always had time to stop and give a few pointers to anyone who asked.
Bettie loved to entertain friends and family, and everyone was always welcome in her home. True to her Irish Catholic roots, she was a wonderful cook and a gracious hostess insisting visitors join her for a quick bite to eat which usually evolved into a full meal. Even though Bettie had a terrible fear of water, that didn’t stop her from grabbing a life-vest and hopping in a boat to meet friends and family on the Mississippi River sandbars on summer weekends. Sitting around the campfire sharing stories while the kids were skating at the Hatfield roller rink were some of Bettie’s favorite moments while the kids were growing up. In retirement, Bettie and Don spent winters in Fort Walton Beach, Florida where they entertained family and friends and enjoyed trading a snow shovel for a golf club.
Bettie enjoyed travel and saw many parts of the world both as a military wife and later in retirement. Frequent moves “came with the territory” as an Army officer’s wife and Bettie could make any living situation - house, barracks or apartment - a family home with a swiftness and efficiency that was truly amazing. After Don’s retirement from the US Army stationed at Camp McCoy Wisconsin, the family settled in Sparta, Wisconsin where Bettie happily made her home for over 50 years until November 2017 when health concerns led her to relocate to the Madison area to be near two of her daughters.
Bettie is survived by her five children: Patti (Kirk) Brunker of Hunstville, Alabama; Mike (Nancy) Roush of Millston, Wisconsin; Tim (Lori) Roush of Tomah, Wisconsin; Peggy Roush of Madison, Wisconsin; and Bonne (Bill) Phelps of Madison, Wisconsin. Bettie was a loving grandmother to: Christine (Garlin), Megan, Jesse (Kristi), Cory (Christina), Daniel (Lisa), Jennifer, Nick (Brianna), Katelyn (Kenny), Mary, Patrick, Sam, Joey, and Bettie; and a great-grandmother to her many “little dears.” Bettie was preceded in death by her loving husband, Don; her parents, William and Margaret Nuckolls; brothers, James Nuckolls and William Nuckolls; sister, Peg Cannella; grandson, Lucas Roush.
The family would like to thank the staff at Aster Assisted Living in Cottage Grove for their kindness and care, Agrace HospiceCare for their loving support as Mom made her journey, and the many friends and family who brought so much joy to our mother over the years.
A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, November 16, 2018 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Sparta, with Father Eric Berns officiating. Family burial will take place at a later time in Oak Grove Cemetery, Tomah. A Celebration of Bettie’s life will continue at Jake’s Northwoods, Sparta, from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.
Family and friends are invited to call from 12 noon until time of services on Friday at the church.
The Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta, is assisting the family with arrangements.