Betty Mashke

Betty Mashke

Tuesday, August 7th, 1928 - Monday, February 10th, 2020
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Betty was born in Benton Harbor, MI, on August 7, 1928. She became a child of God through Holy Baptism on August 28, 1928, at St. Matthew’s Evangelical Church in Benton Harbor. She is the child of William Henry Wetzel and Julia (Cerecke) Wetzel. Betty was six years old when her father died in 1934. Her mother lived to be 93 years of age and died on January 4, 1989.

Betty attended St. Matthew’s Christian School and was confirmed in her faith on March 29, 1942. Betty attended Benton Harbor High School, graduating with honors on May 29, 1946. She was a member of the Jane Adams chapter of the National Honor Society in both her junior and senior years, despite a severe hearing loss.

On November 29, 1947, Betty was married to William Louis Mashke at St. Matthew’s by Rev. H.C. Haase. Bill and Betty had three children: Virginia (Richard) Slattery, Oshkosh, WI; William (LuAnn) Mashke, St. Joseph, MI; and Joel (Marla) Mashke, Eau Claire, MI. They survive her along with seven grandchildren: Jill (Mark) McGovern, Neenah, WI; Jeremiah (Jill Bradley) Slattery, Apple Valley, MN; Jacob (Jennifer) Slattery, Oshkosh, WI; Phillip Mashke, North America; Julianne (Matthew) Mast, St. Joseph, MI; Bethany (Justin) Steffl, Sleepy Eye, MN; and Daniel (Allyson) Mashke, Bridgman, MI. Also, nine great-grandchildren: Jack and Callie Slattery; Owen, Emmitt and Alex Slattery; Hazel Mast; Lauren Steffl; Payson and Koyer Mashke.

Betty was an active member of her church family and served her Lord in many capacities, including as the Church Secretary at St. Matthew’s from 1962-69 and as the chairperson for the June 1969 national convention of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society that was held there. She also served as President of the Southwest Michigan Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society from 1970-71. For many years Betty was the southwest Michigan contact person for the Central African Medical Mission of the WELS. In 1970, Betty and her husband traveled to Zambia and Malawi to see first-hand the work being done by the medical missions.

As a child, Betty loved the Blossom Parade and the Friday night Fun Parade and was inspired to be an involved citizen of the Twin Cities community. On January 1, 1970, she became a partner in purchasing a small Hallmark card shop, located in the Fairplain Plaza, known as the Hall of Cards and Books. The business grew quickly, and a second and third location was added on State Street in St. Joseph and in the Orchards Mall. Betty served as President of the Fairplain Plaza Merchants association in the early ‘70s and late ‘80s. She was also elected to the St. Joseph Today Advisory Board, where she served for eight years. When the City Fathers of St. Joseph decided on the revitalization of downtown St. Joseph, through an agreement with the State of Michigan for a Downton Development Authority, Betty was very involved.
Besides her parents, Betty was preceded in death by her husband, William L. Mashke, a brother, Clarence Wetzel, and a sister Donna Payne. She leaves one sister Arlene Barchett, of Watervliet.

Betty would like to be remembered as a friend of mission work around the world. Memorials may be made to the Central African Medical Mission of the WELS, the Michigan Lutheran High School music department, or Caring Circle Hospice. A memorial service will be held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1965 Broadway, Benton Harbor, on February 29, 2020, at 11:00 am. Dinner will follow in the church’s social hall. Visitation will be held before the service from 9:30 am – 11:00 am.

The journey is finished. Salvation is the gift. This is a true saying, Amen.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, February 29th, 2020 | 9:30am - 11:00am
    Saturday, February 29th, 2020 9:30am - 11:00am
    Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church - Benton Harbor
    1965 Broadway
    Benton Harbor, MI 49022
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, February 29th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Saturday, February 29th, 2020 11:00am
    Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church - Benton Harbor
    1965 Broadway
    Benton Harbor, MI 49022
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Ron Leuty

Posted at 07:08pm
My condolences on your loss. Thank you for sharing her with the community for so many years.

Cheryl Breinling

Posted at 03:59pm
How ironic that in today’s Herald-Palladium under 50 years ago-1970, Betty and Bill Mashke bought Hall of Cards and Books at the Fairplain Plaza. Betty and Bill were my first bosses. They took a 15 year old who had never worked (except mowing lawns and babysitting) into someone who could confidently talk to people, listen and do what was asked of her, run a register and count change back correctly. The Mashke’s made working Christmas and Valentine’s Day fun. We were a family with Bill and Betty our parents watching and guiding us. Jackie, Jeannie, Lena, Katie, Chuck, Dee and so many more. One day my mom, mother-in-law and daughter would be part of that family. Betty wasn’t just a boss, she was a friend. A good friend. I last saw her before Christmas. She gave me a big hug and told me how much she enjoyed when I worked for her. Betty, I am so blessed to have worked for you, to have gone to church with you, to call you my friend and to have been loved by you. I will truly miss you.

Jimmy Mashke

Posted at 10:19am
Hi Bill , Joel and Virginia
So Sorry to hear of your Mom's Passing, Our Prayers are with You and Family.
My Aunt Betty will be greatly Missed by All , especially her baking skills (Pies) at the annual Family reunions.

Jim & Gloria Mashke

Chris DiMatteo Posted at 07:24pm

Dear Billy n Joel Im so sorry to hear of your Mother's passing I have very fond Memories of her I will always cherish she was a woman that was dedicated an had a huge Heart ....R.I.P Aunt Betty... you will be missed an never forgotten.

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