Obituary: Bettie Neuman, 100, of Benona Township.

March 31, 2022

Bettie Neuman

Obituary: Bettie Elaine Neuman, 100, of Benona Township.

March 13, 1922 – March 30, 2022

Bettie, our beloved Mom, Grandmother and Great-grandmother, was born on March 13, 1922 in Hart to Dorn and Genevera Elliott Comstock.

Bettie grew up in Shelby, graduating from Shelby High School in 1940.  After high school graduation, she attended Michigan State College, and was also in the Navy Waves during World War II.

Bettie’s great-grandfather was Sylvester Elliott (1850-1910) one of Shelby’s early settlers.  He owned a large tract of property west of town.  Elliott Street that runs north off of State Street bears his name.

Her grandparents were Harlow and Hatta Sullivan Elliott.  Hatta and her many siblings grew up near Marshville Dam in Benona Township where their father Jerimiah, from Ireland, had a grist mill.

Harlow Elliott had two occupations.  At the turn of the century, he was a photographer and traveled by train around the state taking photos of prominent places.  Business owners purchased these photo cards and gave them to customers.  These cards are now collector’s items.  He was known as the postcard man.  When both daughters, Genevera and Geraldine (Elliott Howlett) had arrived, he stayed home.  Harlow built a mercantile in Shelby and was the district manager for the A & P Tea Company.  He loved waiting on and visiting with the customers and was sad when the company changed the store to our modern do it yourself shopping style.  This building eventually was owned by Tom Lipps, became a little restaurant and was loved by locals for years to come.

Bettie’s father Dorn did wall papering and painting for people in the area until an injury prevented him from doing so.  After that he expertly repaired, hand cained and refinished furniture; some of which his family still enjoys.  Bettie’s mom Genevera Elliott Comstock served as the Shelby Village Treasurer for many years, retiring in 1975.

In 1951, Bettie married the love of her life, Harold Neuman.  They lived and worked together loving and raising three daughters on the Bartusch Neuman farm in Benona Township.  Their daughters attended Gardiner School and the new consolidated Benona Elementary School.

Bettie was a devoted, loving wife and mother.  She would say that “A home should be clean enough to be healthy and messy enough to be happy”.  Her daughters agreed!  She grew a large vegetable garden preserving much food for the long country winters.  Harold and Bettie enjoyed having card parties with neighbors during those winter months.  Bettie loved to bake and decorate cakes, knit, and to craft, create beautiful oil paintings, and was an avid sports fan.  She was an active member of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church and Our Savior Lutheran Church Ladies Aid Missionary Societies.

When their youngest daughter started at Benona School, Bettie became the head hot lunch cook and worked there until the girls entered Shelby High School.  She then went to work as secretary and bookkeeper at Silver Lake State Park until her retirement.  While working there she made many lifelong friends.  Harold died in 1993 and has awaited Bettie in Heaven.  Both Harold and Bettie loved spending time with their grandchildren and Bettie was blessed to also be able to enjoy their great-grandchildren.

Bettie loved all children and animals.  They could always make her smile.  She was an avid bird watcher, a hobby she learned from her Grandma Elliott.  She was gifted in mathematics and spent many years tutoring family and neighborhood children through Algebra at her kitchen table.

Bettie was preceded in death by her parents; husband Harold; her sister and brother-in-law Metta (Comstock) Larson and Harry Larson; brothers and sisters-in-law Oscar and Bernadine (Schroeder) Neuman, Esther and Goyt Read; nephew Tim Larson and niece Gretchen Larson.

She is survived by three daughters Linda Neuman of Mt. Pleasant, Nancy (Loyd) Hopper of Coopersville, and Maureen (Bruce) Caliman of Frankenmuth; grandchildren Rory Caliman, Kelly Caliman (Ted) Stevens, Adam Hopper, Rebecca (Hopper) Cole; great-grandchildren Makenzie Hopper, Adam Blake Hopper, Avery Cole, Lilly Stevens, Isabella Stevens and Miles Cole; nieces and nephews and their families: Randy and Donna Neuman, Ruth Ann (Neuman) DuFore, Jim and Ann Neuman, and Tom and Jane Neuman, Dave and Carol (Read) Van Bemmelen, Larry and Jan (Read) Magnuson, and Dan and Wendy (Larson) Kocher.

The family sends special thanks to: Diane Keeler, dear friends of St. Stephen’s, staff, nurses and all the caregivers at Isabella County Medical Care Center in Mt. Pleasant, Sylvia McGhan Harris (in-home care giver), Life EMS Ambulance Crew, and Beverly St. John (home care nurse).

Bettie will be laid to rest next to Harold at the Benona Township Cemetery at a later date.  In lieu of flowers the family would like any memorials donated to St. Stephens Lutheran Church.

Services will be held Saturday, April 2nd 2022, 3 P.M. at St. Stephens Lutheran Church, 7410 W. Johnson Road, Shelby.  Visitation will be one hour before services at the church.

The Harris Funeral Home, in Shelby, is handling arrangements.

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