Betty Jane Marshall, age 98, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 27, 2018 at her apartment at Silver Maples Retirement Community in Chelsea, Michigan. She was born on April 15, 1920 in Cleveland, Ohio to Hilma (Wieck) and John Henry Rowse. She graduated from Shaw High School in Cleveland in 1938. On October 1, 1940 she married Harry Robert Marshall and they were married fifty-one years until Harry’s death in 1991. Betty worked in her younger years at the F.W. Woolworth Company in Cleveland, Ohio and then for Black Industries also in Cleveland, a machine shop making machined parts for the war effort during WWII. After time off to raise her family she entered the work force again, first working in retail sales for the Higbee Department Stores in Cleveland and then later as a Supervisor for Ardac, Inc. in Eastlake, Ohio as a line supervisor making money changing equipment, where she retired from in 1999 at the age of 79.
Betty loved to travel and traveled extensively visiting such places as Tahiti, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scandinavia, and other places around the globe with her daughter Karen. She also traveled with her son and daughter-in-law to Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands, Hawaii, and to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where she loved to watch the massive freighters on Lake Superior. Betty always enjoyed trips including ones to Minnesota and the West Coast where she could spend time with her daughter, son-in-law, grandsons, and later with the grandsons’ families including her two great grandchildren. Trips to Las Vegas were also favorite activities for Betty including one trip with her family to celebrate her 75th birthday. Really anywhere there was a casino she was happy.
She spent many summers helping her parents run a tourist resort of 10 cabins in Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada, which also provided wonderful summer vacations for her children and nieces Debbie and Penny, creating for all, wonderful lifelong memories.
At age 90, she moved to Silver Maples Retirement Community from Kirtland, Ohio where she had lived for 44 years. She was wonderful in all her roles as wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother, friend, and honorary Grandma Betty to many. She was a sincerely compassionate, independent and giving woman who was always interested in others and their needs and willing to help anyone she could. She was absolutely adored by the staff and caregivers at Silver Maples and Arbor Hospice, who took wonderful care of her. A joyous 98th birthday celebration was recently held for her at Silver Maples and it was obvious that Betty was loved by many. She also loved to have visits from all of her grand dogs, six of them over many years, most recently Bella and Nugget who were with her when she passed. All the grand dogs loved Grandma immensely and their visits gave her great joy and comfort.
She is survived by her son: Paul (Barbara) Marshall of Chelsea, Michigan; daughter: Karen (Tom) Kempke of Northfield, Minnesota; grandsons: Chris (Lisa) Kempke of Albany, Oregon and Sean (Ivy) Kempke and great granddaughters: Zoe and Wren Kempke of Duluth, Minnesota; niece: Debbie (Richard) Bass of Gates Mills, Ohio and many other friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, brothers: Bud and Bob, and son Roger who died at age 8 of leukemia. One of Betty’s greatest joys was to know that the type of leukemia that took Roger now has a very high cure rate. She always said she wanted to live long enough to see this and she did!
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 from 3:00pm until 8:00pm at the Nie Family Funeral Home, 3767 West Liberty Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103. The funeral service will be held Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 11:00am at the funeral home with visitation from 10:00am until the time of the service. Burial will take place in Mayfield Heights, Ohio on Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 12:00pm, Noon at Acacia Park Cemetery, 1880 SOM Center Road.
In lieu of flowers and per Betty’s request, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to one of the following charities:
St. Jude Children Research Hospital, P.O. Box 50, Memphis, Tennessee 38101-9929
Arbor Hospice, 2366 Oak Valley Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Merkle Funeral Service, 2442 North Monroe Street, Monroe, Michigan 48162. (734) 384-5185.
Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort, or share a photo by visiting www.merklefs.com