Betty Lucille Gerl died suddenly on Nov. 8, 2010, in Canon City, Colo., while visiting her daughter's family. She was 84.
Betty was born on Oct. 4, 1926 in Plainfield Township near Joliet, Ill., to Leo Clark and Frances Powers and was raised with four brothers and a sister on a farm during the Great Depression. Betty graduated from St. Joseph's School of Nursing in 1947 and began a career as an RN that spanned more than 40 years. She was the head nurse of obstetrics at St. Joseph's Hospital in Joliet for many years and finished her career as head nurse of the Good Sheppard Nursing Home in Mesa, Ariz.
She married Andy Gerl in 1948, and they raised four children. After the children were grown, Betty and Andy spent time in Colorado and Arizona, eventually retiring to the Panther Creek area of the Oregon Coast in 1989 to be near children and grandchildren.
Betty loved traveling, family gatherings, arts and crafts, yard sales, activities at the Panther Creek Community Center, and being a member of the St. Augustine Catholic Church. Though retired, she was the master nurse to the very end, caring for Andy at home until his death, just one month to the day before her own. But perhaps more than anything else, Betty was the wise and caring matriarch of the Gerl family, and her company and counsel was always treasured by her children and grandchildren, who will all dearly miss the long talks and laughter around the kitchen table.
Betty is survived by her sons Bob (Ellen) Gerl and Gary (Beth) Gerl of Lincoln City and Andy (Marian) Gerl of Glendale, Ariz.; daughter Janet Woods of Canon City, Colo.; six grandchildren; and five great grandchildren.
Her husband, brothers and sister died earlier.
The family will hold a visitation at the St. Augustine Church Hall from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20.