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ELKHART — Betty J. Bower, 91, of Elkhart, passed away peacefully at her home with her family at her side at 8:45 p.m. Saturday, May 26, 2018.
She was born in Dowagiac, Michigan, June 4, 1926, to the late Edward and Essie Draper and was preceded in death by spouses Doyle P. Pethick and Theodore A. Bower, as well as a daughter, Sylvia S. Pethick, and a granddaughter, Robin Sutherland.
She was a graduate of Dowagiac High School and was a production worker at the Heddon factory in Dowagiac painting fishing lures during the war.
She was also a faithful and active member of New Hope United Methodist Church of Elkhart.
She enjoyed camping with both of her late husbands and belonged to several camping clubs in the area.
She and her late husband Doyle owned a pizzeria in Three Oaks, Michigan, called B&D Pizza, where they served baked goods as well as pizza.
Betty is survived by children Kay (Eugene) Hefner, Michael (Pamela) Pethick, Sharon (Jerry) Gathright, Steven (Lynne) Pethick and Charles Pethick; grandchildren Jennifer Hefner, Shelly Lewis, Heidi Berg, Layne Richens, Matthew and Ryan Pethick, and Chris and Craig Gathright, and several great- and great-great grandchildren.
She also had many friends and acquaintances in the area with whom she enjoyed playing bingo and card games.
A special thanks goes out to Jan, PJ and Donna for all of their love and support.
Funeral services will be at New Hope United Methodist Church, 28765 C.R. 4, Elkhart, at noon Wednesday, May 30, with visitation beginning there at 10 a.m.
Pastor Mark Lewis will officiate, Kathy Gathright will provide the music and burial will follow in South Wayne Cemetery in Cass County, Michigan, at a later date.
Billings Funeral Home of Elkhart has been assisting the family with arrangements.
Memorial donations may go to either the Center for Hospice Care or Hope United Methodist Church.
Condolences may be shared at www.billingsfuneralhome.com.