Betty Jane Jorgensen, 86, of Saugerties, NY, passed away surrounded by loved ones on March 20, 2018, after a courageous battle with breast cancer. In her final days, Betty was overjoyed by the outpouring of love from an abundance of family and friends who took the time to visit her in the hospital, send a card, or post a warm sentiment on Facebook.
Betty was predeceased by her beloved husband, John W. Jorgensen Sr., in 1994. She is survived by her daughter, Barbara Jorgensen Hammond; her son, John W. Jorgensen, Jr.; son-in-law, Scott C. Hammond;her daughter-in-law, Kimberly A. Jorgensen; grandsons, Curtis J. Jorgensen and Matthew S. Hammond; her granddaughter, Heidi M. Jorgensen; her sister, Carol Dederick; and several nieces and nephews, including Richard and Valerie Koegel; and her godson, Michael Bond Koegel. She was predeceased by her sisters, Dorothy Koegel and Ruth Andersen, and two nieces, Janet Andersen and Brenda (Dederick) Paulucci.
Born in Long Island, NY, on August 30, 1931, she was the daughter of Silas O. VanEtten and Hilda P. (Dodds) VanEtten. Betty’s family spent weekends and summers working on their farm in Saugerties, NY, and following Betty’s graduation from Roslyn High School her family relocated to Saugerties in 1949. Her love for children inspired her to pursue a college education and she obtained her teaching degree from SUNY New Paltz. Before starting her family, Betty taught in the Onteora School District.
Betty married her sweetheart John in 1957 and after raising their children she returned to teaching in 1973 as a substitute in the Saugerties School District. It was there that she dedicated herself to the young students of the community. She retired in 2017 and was awarded with a plaque from the Board of Education honoring her 43 years of service.
Betty derived her strength from her family, teaching and her church. She was a member of the Saugerties Reformed Church since 1949; sang in the choir; and served as a Sunday school teacher; Youth Group leader; Deacon; and as a member of the Consistory. Her church family and her spiritual connection brought Betty a tremendous amount of comfort through the years as she endured many relapses with cancer and grieved the loss of loved ones.
Betty had a warm, giving heart and she enjoyed socializing. This combination was evident by the numerous organizations that benefited from her energy. She was a leader in the Brownies and Girl Scouts and an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary where she recently served as a Chaplin. She volunteered with the SOS (Support Our Servicemen) during the Iraq war; served as co-chairman and committee member of The Saugerties Mum Festival; sang in the Saugerties Community Chorus and raised funds for annual American Cancer Society walks. She was also active with the Saugerties Food Pantry, The Well, The Garlic Festival, the Saugerties Dutchmen; the Saugerties High School Band Boosters, and various Athletic Booster Clubs.
Because of these activities and involvement, Betty was nominated by her daughter-in-law as Senior of the Year for Ulster County. Betty received that recognition in 2005.
These philanthropic commitments always took a back seat, however, to her grandchildren, whom she affectionately referred to as “My Three Blessings.” Betty was able to watch them grow into the fine young adults they have become. They were her greatest pride and joy.
Betty’s family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for the many years of support and care provided by her oncologist, Dr. Riolin Andrade of Kingston.
Friends will be received Thursday from 7 to 9 pm; and Friday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 pm at the Seamon-Wilsey Funeral Home, located at the corner of John & Lafayette Streetsin Saugerties. Her funeral procession will form there at 10:15 am on Saturday, March 24, 2018, followed by a service at the Saugerties Reformed Church at 11 am.
In lieu of flowers, Betty’s family suggests memorial donations be made to the Saugerties Reformed Church, 173 Main Street, Saugerties, NY 12477, or the Saugerties High School, Call Box A, Saugerties, NY 12477. A scholarship in her honor is being formed to benefit a high school graduate pursuing a teaching career. Please include Betty’s name on the memo line when sending in checks to these charitable organizations.
Expressions of condolence may be shared with the family at www.SeamonWilseyFuneralHome.com.