Elizabeth “Bette” Smith (née Schaefer) of Park Forest passed away May 20, 2021 with her family by her side. She was born to the late Joseph and Elizabeth Schaefer, August 1, 1941, in Adams, Minnesota, the youngest of 12 children. She married her high school sweetheart, Harlan Smith in 1962 and lived in Minneapolis, MN until 1969 when they moved and lived in Park Forest for the past 52 years.
She is survived by her loving husband of 59 years, Harlan, daughters Heidi (Robert Farina) and Amy (Thomas Moore), sons Eric (Ellen) and Bryan (Julie Fisher) and eleven grandchildren Nicholas, Claire, Joseph, Kelly (Kyle), Jason (Brieann), Scott, Janelle, Zachary, Brenden, Jack and Matthew and a sister, Rita (David) Sheedy, two brothers, Conrad (Judy) Schaefer and Roger Schaefer and many beloved nieces and nephews. Bette was predeceased by her parents and siblings Paul (Sally), Florence (Herman), Vernon (Betty), Frederick (Bernice), Herbert (Dorene), Benno (Pat), Marcella (John), and Norbert (Linda).Bette had various careers and was continuously learning to further advance herself and find ways to share her many talents and gifts. She retired as a manicurist, where her natural caring spirit and ability to make connections and friendships flourished. Throughout her career, her family remained her top priority. Her many hobbies included gardening (for which her home received many Beautification Awards), antiquing, crafting, tennis, supporting her children and grandchildren’s sports and activities, and baking to name a few. Bette’s homemade bread, prize-winning peach cake, peanut brittle and cookies were enjoyed by many. Bette’s strong faith brought her peace and strength throughout her life.
Her family was her joy and she was their blessing. Bette was dearly loved by her many lifelong friends and family. As her health declined she kept this quote close: “A friend knows the song in my heart, and sings it to me when my memory fails.”
Visitation will be Wednesday, May 26, 2021 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Lain-Sullivan Funeral Home, 50 Westwood Drive, Park Forest. Funeral Mass Thursday, May 27, 2021, 10 a.m. at St. Irenaeus Church, 78 Cherry Street, Park Forest.
The mass will be limited capacity due to Covid guidelines. It will be live streamed and can be viewed at https://youtube.com/c/SaintIreneaus
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her honor to St. Irenaeus to be given to local food pantries run through Catholic Charities.
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