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Obituaries » Elizabeth Betty Brown

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May 19, 1924 - April 6, 2019

A celebration of Betty’s life will be held at her church, where she was a very active member for more than 50 years, Greenwood Reformed Church, 1815 Winton Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49001, on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 2:00 PM. A time of visitation will take place at the church one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Kairos Dwelling or the American Cancer Society.

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Betty passed away at Kairos Dwelling on Saturday, April 6, 2019. She was a lifelong resident of Kalamazoo.  Betty was born on May 19, 1924, the daughter of the late Homer and Cornelia (Bouman) Ruster.  In additional to her parents, Betty was also preceded in death by her siblings, Marvin, John, Elizabeth and Leona; her husband of more than 60 years, Roger Brown; and their youngest daughter, Kathleen Tuinstra.

In a family where her husband, Roger, was long distance truck driver, often on the road for days at a time, the responsibility of managing their home and raising five children was hers.  She felt that her family was her greatest accomplishment and joy.

Betty was a driving force behind the growth of Milwood Little League, always cheering loudly for her sons’ teams.  She retired from Kalamazoo Public Schools as a Manager in the Food Service Department.  Betty took on her next career as a volunteer for the rest of her life, volunteering at various non-profit organizations in Kalamazoo.   Her last volunteer job was with Reverence Hospice, where she made many friends, whom she truly enjoyed working with.

Betty is survived by her children: Judy (Bob) Rapp, Barb Ogrin, Roger (Melissa) Brown Jr, and Al (DeeDee) Brown.

Her grandchildren are:  Jennifer Nunnally, Jessica Miller, Sarah Ogrin, Jeremy Brown, Lisa Allen, Doug Rapp, Nicole Ogrin, Adam Tuinstra, Jarrod Tuinstra, Justin Tuinstra, and Elizabeth Brown.  She is also survived by 10 great-grandchildren.

Betty’s Dutch heritage was evident throughout her life.  One story about Betty that her family always enjoys was the time a TSA agent pulled her out of the security check-in line on her trip to Naples to visit Al, DeeDee and Liz Brown.  The issue was the jar of peanut butter and the ham that she had packed in her carryon bag.  The TSA agent’s question was, “don’t they sell these in Florida?”  Mom’s reply was, “but these were on sale.” Needless to say, the peanut butter and ham did not accompany her to Florida.