Olsen, Betty Jane-June 9, 2012
Betty Jane (Wiley) Olsen, 85, departed this life on Saturday June 9th, 2012, succumbing to a prolonged illness in Aurora, Colorado with her family by her side.
Betty was admired and respected by all for her dedication to the community and her willingness to speak up and be heard. She was a strong and beautiful woman who enjoyed collecting things, creating intricate doll attire, and was known to have her nose in a book at any idle moment. Her passion for her family and her Irish roots were played out in intricate genealogical searches, sparking trips to foreign places, tracking down long lost relatives. Never afraid to strike up a conversation – Betty will be remembered for her passionate story-telling and her striking resemblance to the Queen Mum. Betty was born to Verne Wiley and Lura Chesney on July 11th, 1926, on their first wedding anniversary. One of five children, she spent most of her life in Whitewater where she met the love of her life, Francis A. Olsen, and graduated from College High School in 1944. On Jan. 16, 1945, at the First English Lutheran Church, while Francis was home on leave from the Merchant Marines, the young couple was happily married. When Francis returned from the war they were blessed with four children Barbara, Jim, Allen and Mary. As her children grew to adulthood, Betty became an active member of the community, and a successful businesswoman, owning and operating Olsen Insurance Agency in Whitewater. She was a frequent contributor to Whitewater Register – campaigning for the city she loved and called home. After the passing of her best friend and husband, Francis, Betty moved to Colorado to be closer to her extended family. She is greatly missed, by those who survive her, including her sister Harriet Waite (Elkhorn,) her children Barb (Kenneth) Walker & Mary Jo Fay (Aurora, CO), Allen (Lydia) Olsen (Hallsville, TX), and Jim (Diane) Olsen (Oconomowoc, WI), 5 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren. Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Francis, her sister Janette Hale, and her brothers Roger and Gordon Wiley.
Friends and family are invited to pay their respects at visitation and services for Betty this Thursday, June 14th, at the First English Lutheran Church (401 W. Main Street, Whitewater). Visitation will be held from 9:00AM to 11:00AM, followed by funeral services and burial at Hillside Cemetery. A luncheon will be held after the burial at the church.
In lieu of cut flowers, donations will be used to purchase live rose bushes to adorn the sanctuary. They will be donated after the ceremony in Betty’s honor to The Glen Assisted Living Facility (Whitewater), to create a garden resembling the roses she and Francis so loved around their home.
Nitardy Funeral Home will assist the family.