Floral 23

Mary “Bettie” E. Swanson

January 20, 1919 ~ February 19, 2024 (age 105) 105 Years Old

Mary “Bettie” Swanson Obituary

Mary E. “Bettie” Swanson, 105, of Ladd, went to be with the Lord on February 19, 2024 with dear friends, John and Joyce, by her side in her home. In the days leading up to her death, many friends and church members were at her side sharing memories and lifting her up in prayer and song. 

Funeral services will be 11:00 AM Saturday at the Van Orin Gospel Church in Van Orin with Rev. Timothy Batchelor and Rene Nobel officiating. Burial will be in Valley Memorial Park in Spring Valley. Visitation will be in the church on Saturday from 10:00 AM until time of services. The Hurst Funeral Home in Ladd is assisting the family with her services.

Bettie was born in Ladd on January 20, 1919 to Ernest and Wilma (Schwab) Nelson. She graduated from Ladd Grade School, Hall High School and received a bachelor’s degree in education from Illinois State University in Normal in 1940.  She married William H. Voas in 1947 and he died in 1952.  She then married Lawrence L. Swanson in 1957 and he died in 1985.

Bettie taught high school for three years and then went to work for Western Electric in Chicago during the war.  Upon returning to Ladd in 1953, she worked at Children and Family Services for the State of Illinois and then, Eicor in Oglesby, First National Bank in Peru, and the Seatonville Greenhouse. 

Bettie made volunteering her life. She volunteered at the Ladd Library for 30 years and Kids’ Klub in Malden with over 5800 hours. She volunteered at St. Margaret’s Hospital as a Pink Lady. She was a member of the Ladd Presbyterian Church and held several offices. In 1997, she joined the Van Orin Gospel Church. She also served on the county board for Bureau County Home Extension and the board for the Ladd Sociables. She was a volunteer with the Children’s Home in Princeton.

Although Bettie had no children of her own, her love for children led her to support many children through charitable, giving, including Children, Inc. Her call to share God’s love with others led her to support such ministries as Samaritan’s, Purpose and Campus Crusade for Christ. Locally, she led Bible studies, taught Sunday school and VBS, led Girl Scout Troops, and took youth groups camping. A poem from one of her books speaks to the Christian woman that she was: “Let me Love the Lord”.

Let me love the Lord, By prayer, Communicating with Him, Every Wakening moment, Talking to Him, Listening to Him, Ever aware of His love for me. Let me love the Lord, With love, Loving those about me, In their joyous moments, In their pain and sorrow, Listening to them, Caring for them, Never hurting then in dear or hate. Let me love the Lord, By study; Reading all I can about Him, Discussing then the words, Analyzing, Applying them, To ways of living out my days. Let me love the Lord, By witnessing, By living as though I do believe, By sharing all He gives me, Not judging folks, Not coercing them, But teaching them by love. Let me love the Lord.

Bettie was an avid reader, but also an author. She wrote and published three books: Plants of the Bible, Let me Love the Lord, and Slices of Bread. She loved to travel. Her favorite trip was her first trip to Israel. Bettie was a part of a group that made 100’s of lap robes for hospitals, nursing homes, and shut-ins.

Bettie is survived by her cousins, her church family, special friends, and a Goddaughter.

She was preceded in death by her husbands William and Lawrence.

Memorials may be directed to Van Orin Gospel Church.









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February 24, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Van Orin Gospel Church (Van Orin)

Funeral Service
February 24, 2024

11:00 AM
Van Orin Gospel Church (Van Orin)


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