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Betty Kerkenbush

Obituary of Betty Jo Kerkenbush

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Betty Jo Chesney was born in Fountain City, Knox County, Tennessee on March 15, 1943.   She was the eldest of five sisters and a brother born from the union of     Gordon Rex Chesney and Wilma Christine (Kitts) Chesney.   She attended Custer School and Monroe High School.     

Betty herself was blessed with the birth of four children.   For many years she cared for their needs as a homemaker prior to taking a position in 1975 at Monroe County Mental Health.   She worked as a Direct Care Worker with the disabled at the John F. Kennedy House serving in many different capacities from being trained as a dietician to administering medications.   She relished in her role and loved her clients.   Her career spanned more than thirty-four years until her retirement in 2009.  

Betty Jo was multi-talented individual.   She was very creative and artistic and very accomplished.   It was often said and proven that she could improve anything that she touched.   She created beautiful custom jewelry in addition to maintaining and cultivating a lovely garden each year.   She also oversaw the construction of her own home, modifying the blueprints, hiring the subcontractors to complete the construction, and then handled all the interior design aspects.   She was very fond of her three canine companions:  Mitzi, Flossie, and Lucy.

Betty Jo Kerkenbush, age 79, of LaSalle passed away on Monday; December 19, 2022 at her home.   She was under the care of ProMedica Monroe Hospice.   Her passing was preceded by her parents; a daughter:  Donna Joy O'Connor on March 1, 2018; two sisters:  Barbara Jean and Johnnie Ann; and a brother:  Chris Chesney.

To cherish her memory, she leaves three children:  Cindy (Tim) Buell of LaSalle, Rusty (Angie) Stiffler of LaSalle, and Julie Gryzan of Grand Rapids, Michigan; three sisters:  Rexine (Danny) Langford, Tricia (Joe) Simmons, and Cathy Vandercook; twelve grandchildren:  Brieanna (Jason) Crook, Melissa (Derek) Tegler, Katelyn Gabriel, Jason O’Connor, Leah DiCarlo (Hunter Rood), Courtney Stiffler, Mendy Stiffler, Megan Stiffler, Jacob Stiffler, Joseph (Paige) Gryzan, Jana Gryzan, Emily Gryzan (Spencer Datema); and seven great grandchildren.

Friends may gather on Thursday; December 22, 2022 from 2:00pm until 8:00pm at Merkle Funeral Service, South Monroe; 14567 South Dixie Highway, Monroe, Michigan 48161 (734) 241-7070.   A Celebration of Her Life will be held at Merkle’s on Friday; December 23, 2022 at 11:00am.   Pastor Spencer Snow of Monroe Missionary Baptist Church will officiate.   Procession will follow to LaSalle Township Cemetery on Swartz Road for burial.

Memorials in her honor are suggested to any local veteran’s organization.   Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort or share a photo by visiting


Gathering for Betty Jo Kerkenbush

2:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Thursday, December 22, 2022
Merkle Funeral Service - South Monroe
14567 South Dixie Highway
Monroe, Michigan, United States
(734) 241-7070

Celebration of Life for Betty Jo Kerkenbush

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Friday, December 23, 2022
Merkle Funeral Service, South Monroe
14567 South Dixie Highway
Monroe , Michigan, United States
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Betty Kerkenbush

In Loving Memory

Betty Kerkenbush

1943 - 2022

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