(10/7/13) Elisabeth L. (Betty) Epstein, age 100, of Lisle, IL and formerly of Black River Falls, WI and Millston, WI died Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 in Westbury Nursing Home in Lisle.
Betty was born on October 19, 1912 in Paducah, KY to James S. and Elizabeth (Weitlauf) Lee.
She moved with her parents to Chicago at the age of four. Her family moved to Millston in 1927 after her father bought property in Millston and built Lake Lee.
Betty married Lewis Epstein in Black River Falls on September 27, 1936. He preceded his wife in death on April 19, 1978.
In 1931, Betty started writing for the Banner Journal. She wrote for local and statewide newspapers and national wire services since 1950, and sold over 100 national and state magazine articles. She is best known for her human-interest stories and weekly newspaper column which she wrote for 69 years. She was the interim Woman's Editor for the Wisconsin State Journal magazine.
Some of Betty's other credits and honors included: Outstanding Woman in Wisconsin through the Federated Women's Club Theodora Youman Award for Citizenship; Distinguished Service Award of the College of Agriculture, University of Wisconsin for work in community service with youth; Friend of Extension Award given by University of Wisconsin Extension; Volunteer of the Year Award, the Ardith Murphy Award, given by the Wisconsin State Home Economist Association; State Friend of Extension for public service and support of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension from the National Honorary Extension Fraternity; Community Service Award from the Black River Falls Chamber of Commerce; First Outstanding Homemaker in 1971; and 4-H Award for meritorious service.
Betty was president and public information chairman of the Jackson Unit American Cancer Society. She was an honorary lifetime member of the Wisconsin Regional Writer's Association and chairman of the State Round Writing clubs for 30 years. She organized the Millston Women's Club in 1950 and in 1967 helped organize the Black River Memorial Hospital Auxiliary where she served on the board and as president and public information coordinator. She was a board member of the Jackson County Extension Homemakers and served as county treasurer. She was a member and secretary of Tuesday Club and a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, maintaining the church's historical scrapbook.
Her great joy was teaching children, which began as adult leader of the Millston Young America 4-H Club. She served as county 4-H project leader for 38-years, teaching art and photography to more than 1,200 county young people.
At the age of 79, she received her associate degree in Fine Arts from Mt. Senario College in 1991. She also received college credits from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and St. Cloud University.
When she turned 84 in 1996, she was chosen as one of the "10 Most Admired Senior Citizens in Wisconsin", an award based upon community service after the age of 65.
Surviving are her two sons, Lane (Conni) Epstein, Lisle, IL, and David (Paula) Epstein, Chicago, IL, three grandchildren, Joel, Dana, and Grant Epstein, and four great grandchildren, Sarah, Kate, Evan and Luke Epstein.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Elisabeth "Betty" Epstein will be held at 11 AM Saturday, October 12, 2013 from St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Rev. David Bruener will conduct services and burial will be in Brookside Cemetery in Millston. Relatives and friends may call at Torgerson's Funeral Home (715-284-4321) 408 N. Water St., Black River Falls on Friday from 5 until 7 P.M. and on Saturday at the church from 10 A.M. until the time of services.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the Lewis and Betty Epstein Memorial Fund, Black River Memorial Hospital, 711 W. Adams St. Black River Falls, WI 54615
Online condolences may be sent to www.torgersonfuneralhome.com.