Elizabeth “Bettie” Ruth Merrill (Swanson)
Born April 5th, 1924 in Fairfield, NE as the first daughter to Art and Alta Swanson, Elizabeth “Bettie” was the last surviving sibling of an older brother, Guy, younger sister, Bonnie and younger brother, Robert when she peacefully passed away surrounded by family at Oxbow Living Center in Ashland, Nebraska on Easter Sunday, April 21st, 2019.
Bettie is remembered as a dynamic family oriented strong woman who was classy, caring and passionate about family, friends and community. She tremendously enjoyed making memories with all the generations of her family. And wishes everyone to “Celebrate [her] good long happy life with a wonderful family” (as written by her own hand).
A skilled pianist, Bettie was an All State High School Musician while attending Edgar High School. Known at times as “Lsybeth” and by her high school sweet heart as “Bets”. She attended the Lincoln School of Business and worked at the Naval Ordnance Depot in Hastings during WWII.
She married her high school sweet heart, Justin “Dud” Merrill on March 12th, 1944. They had four children; David Lee (deceased), Susan Kay, Michael Jay (Tanya), and Nanette Ray (Eugene). “Dud” and Bettie ran Merrill Hardware until his passing in 1976.
Beyond her career as the first Zoning Administrator for Clay county, Bettie was a dynamic and progressive civic leader in Clay county and Edgar, NE. Bettie was the first president of the Edgar alumni, instrumental in the consolidation of the Sandy Creek School District, assisted with development of the Edgar nursing home, and making the Edgar community Swimming Pool and Tennis Court a reality through planning and grant writing.
Bettie was an active life long member of AA P.E.O., Eastern Star and Church of the Plains. She enjoyed Husker Football, “55” and NASCAR Racing, Tennis - playing and watching most any sport. She was known for her bowling and bridge skills, as well as being a consummate hostess. Bettie had an appreciation for good design; she was the architect of her own home in Edgar.
Bettie’s strong spirit, fierce dedication and love for people & community live on in her family. In addition to her three surviving children, Bettie had nine grandchildren; Amanda (Davin), Kacy (Vern), Heidi (Bryan), Justin (Ashley), Molly (Jordan), Maggie (Colin), Jake (Melony), Ryan (Jenna), and Heather (Brian), 19 great-grandchildren; Trey (Amber), Schyler, Jacy, Kaleb, Logan, Jali, Landon, Juliun, Davin P., Hailey, Danika, Adeline, Miles, Luke, Leo, Kaiya, Ryanna, Kadin, and Atley, and two great-great-grandchildren; Pierce and Onix. Bettie also appreciated a brother-in-law Leo Lindgren and numerous nieces, nephews and friends of all ages, who enriched her life over the 95 years she was blessed to live.
Graveside services were Saturday, April 27th at 11:00 AM at the Edgar Cemetery.
Lunch following at the Legion hosted by the Chapter AA P.E.O.
In lieu of flowers, memorials choice of donor.
Williams Funeral Home
219 North C Street
Edgar, Nebraska 68935
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