Obituary: Betty Stoeger

Betty Juline Gigstead Stoeger, 89, of Sturgeon Bay, died May 10, 2017, at her home with her family by her side. Betty now safe in God’s loving arms, saved by grace not of her own works.  Saved through her faith in Christ’s sacrifice on that Old Rugged Cross.

Betty was born on April 18, 1928, in Sturgeon Bay, WI, to Oscar and Mabel (Nelson) Gigstead. As the only girl among five brothers, she developed a toughness and spunk that would characterize her the rest of her life: the nickname she earned in school was “Gigglestead” for her frequent bouts of giggling during class. Never one to shy away from hard work, Betty held jobs at the Sturgeon Bay shoe factory in the 1960s, as one of the oldest women at Miller Brewing Company where she kept up with men half her age, and as a waitress at dozens of restaurants.

Betty truly was a waitress extraordinaire, and it was while working at the Nightingale that she re-met the man who would become her beloved husband, Mark Stoeger. Schoolmates as kids, after an eight-year courtship they married on November 4, 1978. Betty and Mark were married for thirty-eight and a half years and he was by her side, holding her hand, till the end.

A tomboy at heart, Betty never missed a game of baseball or an afternoon of sledding with her grandkids. She loved playing pool and almost every kind of card game and was a wizard at cribbage and 3-to-13. She read voraciously and did crossword puzzles almost every day.

Famous among her family and friends for her knitting, Betty supplied every child and grandchild with one-of-a-kind mittens and knitted hundreds of doll and Barbie clothes, to the great delight of her granddaughters. She never met an animal she didn’t love and she gave a home to many lucky cats and dogs over the decades. She volunteered for a time at the Humane Society and in the last years of her life Betty rescued a tiny black kitten she called Hobo.

The greatest love of Betty’s life was her family and they adored her, especially her four children who knew they had hit the “mom jackpot”. Betty’s life was marked by unconditional love and kindness, and all who knew her felt its warmth and comfort. She loved the Lord and was a member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. Betty is survived by her husband, Mark Stoeger; her son Bill (Jan) Wotochek of Forestville, WI; daughters Sharon (Del) Wotochek Herrbold of Sturgeon Bay, WI, Sandy Wotochek Waterman of Sturgeon Bay, WI, and Cindy (George) McPhillips Stamos of Green Bay, WI; stepsons Rodney (Judy) Stoeger and Jerome Stoeger of Milwaukee, WI; brother Earl “Bud” Gigstead of Crystal Falls, MI; 21 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren and 5 great-great-grandchildren; and her cat, Hobo. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Alton, Elman, Roger, and Gilsford, and her stepdaughter Kathleen Stoeger Caveney.

Memorial services will be 11:00 a.m. Wednesday May 17, 2017 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.  Visitation will be at the church on Wed. from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service. Forbes Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Her family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the caregivers from Southern Care Hospice for the wonderful care they provided to Betty.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her name to Door County Humane Society or St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.

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