Betty Rea Westergren, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at the age of 95 at Bethany on the Lake Care Center in Alexandria, Minnesota. Betty and her husband, David P. Westergren, were happily married for 72 years, and she also leaves behind her two children, David C. and Lynne, five granddaughters, two great-grandchildren, and multiple nieces and nephews.
Betty was born on February 8, 1926 to Jimmy and Marie Caldis in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, where she also grew up. She was close with her older siblings, brother Gordy and sister Phyllis. Betty and her family often traveled to Bertha, Minnesota, to visit her aunt Eunice, where she met and ultimately married her husband David P. Westergren. In 1950 they welcomed their first child, David C., and two years later their daughter Lynne.
Aside from her earlier years getting an education at the Northwest Institute of Medical Technology and working as a medical technician, Betty spent her life as a mom, a grandma, and a homemaker. She supported her family through her husband David’s 24-year career in the Navy, moving to multiple different places before finally settling in Bloomington, Minnesota. After retiring from the Navy, David worked as an airline and corporate pilot and together he and Betty had a wonderful life, enjoying their Miltona lake home as well as traveling the world, including multiple amazing trips to places like Africa and South America. They also loved watching sports and were Vikings season ticketholders for many years.
After his retirement, for years Betty and her husband carried on the snowbird lifestyle, driving their motorhome from Minnesota to Florida in the winter, a perfect location for her to enjoy her hobbies of playing tennis and golf (as well as watching and yelling at tennis and golf on the TV!). She also loved oil painting and her children and grandchildren treasure the collection of paintings she created over the years.
Above all, Betty loved hosting family and friends at her beloved lake home. She had a massive round dinner table custom made for the dining room and nothing made her happier than seeing all her children and grandchildren gathered around it, enjoying her wonderful cooking, playing games, or just laughing and talking. While Betty will be deeply missed, her family is grateful for her long, beautiful life of 95 years and the many happy memories we have of her.
Memorial services will be held on Monday, July 19 at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Alexandria, with visitation at 10 a.m., followed by a funeral at 11 a.m. Interment will be at Zion and Saint Joseph’s Cemetery in Bertha, MN. In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome donations to Knute Nelson Foundation to support the foundation’s hospice care program.