Bettie Kaufmann, age 92, of Quincy, Ill., died Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, at her home.
Bettie was born Dec. 15, 1926, in Quincy, the daughter of Harry H. and Faye Elliott Meyer.
Her early years were spent in rural Adams County, enjoying farm life with her mother and father, doted on by both, as an only child. She learned the art of homemaking, love of nature and gardening, and appreciation of education from her beloved mother, whom she was graced with until the tender age of 10, when Faye passed away. Bettie was then cared for by her compassionate, gentle father and his family during the difficult depression era through her high school years.
Bettie graduated from Quincy Senior High School in 1944, where she met her husband-to-be, Emery. Following high school, Bettie attended Culver-Stockton College in Canton for two years, where she thoroughly enjoyed the new social life she discovered and made lifelong friends.
Six months after Emery's return from the Navy, the young couple was married at Grace Methodist Church, May 19, 1947. She and Emery spent the earlier years of their married life farming and starting their family in the Lima area before moving to Meredosia, Ill., where Emery pastored the Methodist Church for two years. The young family then settled in Quincy, where they remained rooted for a lifetime.
Bettie's life passion for education guided her from teaching in a one-room school house in rural Adams County when she was only 18, to teaching positions at Lincoln School, Columbus Road Baptist School and finally the principal at Calvary Baptist Academy.
Bettie and Emery had 21 years of the delightful endeavor of owning and operating Quincy's first bed and breakfast at 1641 Hampshire St. During this phase of their lives, they enjoyed wonderful trips in the States, including an Alaskan cruise, as well as traveling abroad to the British Isles and Israel.
A vivid thread interwoven throughout Bettie's life was her passion for Christ and sharing him with others. This love prompted her to begin a women's jail ministry at the Adams County Jail, which ultimately culminated with the founding of the Well House in Quincy, serving women in transition from incarceration to rejuvenated lives.
In addition to her husband, Bettie was preceded in death by her parents.
Bettie is survived by five children, Jan F. Kaufmann-Dearing of Palmyra, Keith Kaufmann of Quincy, Jean (Scott) Meyer of Hannibal, June (Tom) Harmon of Springfield, Ill., and Lori Tuttle of Madison, Wis.; 14 grandchildren, Stephen (Amber Martin) Dearing IV, of Palmyra, Adam Jett (Sarah) Dearing, of Mission, Tory Kaufmann, of Quincy, Tyler (Devon) Kaufmann, of Quincy, Gabe (Melissa) Meyer, of Columbia, Ellie Meyer of Chicago, Ill., Gus Meyer of Kansas City, Jason (Angi) Harmon of Springfield, Ill., Jennifer (Dan) Sears, of Springfield, Ill., Lauren (Ben) Fay, of Southern Pines, N.C., Elsie (Ryan) Tuttle of St. Louis, Emma (Cooper) Tuttle, of St. Louis, Clayton Tuttle of Madison, Wis., and Peter Tutttle of Madison, Wis.; and 13 great-grandchildren.
"Happy is the man whose quiver is full" was Emery's paraphrase of a favorite quote to Bettie over the years, and happy Bettie was with her five children, 14 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren, the lights of her life.
"Have a nice day" – Bettie.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, at The Crossing (48th and Maine Campus), with Pastor Jim Dennis and Pastor Jeff Nelson officiating.
Burial will be at Greenmount Cemetery, Quincy, Ill.
Visitation will be 2-4:00 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at Hansen-Spear Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made to The Well House or Community Foundation (Well House Fund).
Hansen-Spear Funeral Directors are in charge of the arrangements.