Elizabeth “Betty” Mildred Welch (nee Bates), age 94, a life-long resident of Elgin, Illinois, passed away on November 24, 2014 in Surprise, Arizona. Betty was born September 14, 1920 in Moline, Illinois to the loving parents of Floyd and Florence Bates.

Betty was a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who always put her family first. She was a graduate of Elgin High School, Class of 1938. She was born an only child, but was never alone during her life, as she became a loving wife & mother, a loyal friend and an active volunteer. When her family was young, you would see Betty serving special meals on the Feast Days & Holy Days at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and School.  She became very active in the PTA and gave many years to the Girl Scouts of America.  She opened her home to many young Girl Scouts, teaching them childcare, cooking & sewing.

As her children grew older, she served her community as a charter member of the St. Joseph’s Hospital League.  Along with one of her best friends, she founded the very first gift shop for the hospital, the “Hospital League Gift Cart.”

She was an active member of the VFW Women’s Auxiliary. When her husband Harry became a member of the Elgin Lion’s Club, Betty spent time doing community work with the Lioness Club. She also became an active volunteer with the Larkin Children’s Home for many years, receiving an award for her services.  Betty spent many of her last years of volunteer work as a board member at the Larkin Home. Betty’s family and friends always looked forward to her homemade Christmas cookies every year as well as all of her other acts of kindness.

She is survived by her children Judith (Robert) Mistretta, Mary Beth (James) Chrest, Thomas Welch, Kathleen (Rick) Meier, her 10 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 48 years of marriage, Harry, her son David C. Welch, and her granddaughters, Mary Elizabeth Mistretta and Colette Janene Welch.

Visitation will be Thursday, December 4, 2014 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park Street Elgin, Illinois 60120. On Friday December 5, She will lie in state from 9:00 am to time of service at 10:00 am at Saint Laurence Catholic Church, 565 Standish Street Elgin, Illinois 60123. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to your favorite charity in Betty’s name, or to Grace Hospice, 2141 E Broadway Drive, Suite 118, Tempe, AZ 85282. For more information please call 847-741-1128 or madisonfuneralhomeelgin.com

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