Betty Ann Claeys, 92, of Marshall, formerly of Ghent, died on Monday, February 4, 2019, at the Prairie Home Hospice Lockwood House in Marshall. Mass of Christian Burial for Betty will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, February 7, at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Marshall.
Visitation will be Wednesday from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. with a CCW Rosary at 4 p.m. and a Parish Prayer Service at 7 p.m. at Rehkamp Horvath Funeral Home in Marshall.
Visitation will continue from 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home. Interment will take place at St. Eloi Catholic Cemetery in Ghent.
Betty Ann was born on January 16, 1927, on a farm north of Minneota to Harold and Mary (Jennen) Opdahl of Ghent, the first of seven children.
She was baptized and confirmed at St. Eloi Catholic Church in Ghent. She graduated from 8th grade at St. Eloi’s St. Agnes School in Ghent in 1941 and from Minneota High School in 1945.
Betty was united in marriage to L. Joseph Claeys of Ghent on May 20, 1947, at St. Eloi Catholic Church. To this union were born seven children.
Betty and Joe moved from their farm near Ghent to Boulder Estates in Marshall in March 2017. They celebrated more than 71 years of marriage. Betty loved to cook and bake for her family.
She fed the birds, planted flowers, cleaned chickens, gardened, canned, made elaborate quilts, and worked very hard. She enjoyed fishing and motorhome camping.
She loved music and playing the piano, especially polkas and waltzes. She and Joe danced all their life together, including around the kitchen island and then finally at Boulder Creek in Marshall.
Betty loved their winter home and friends in Texas where she golfed, danced, took clogging lessons, and played cards. In earlier years, Betty was the president of the St. Eloi Altar Society and traveled to Florida for a Catholic Conference. She was a member of bridge clubs and a Marshall bowling league.
She spent countless hours writing, gathering historical photos, and helping put together the St. Eloi Parish Centennial Book. She enjoyed genealogy, family history, collectibles, and antiques.
Betty took painting and Norwegian language classes at Southwest Minnesota State University. She loved to travel, and with Joe visited Norway, Belgium, London, Paris, Normandy Beach, the Holy Land, and even China and Argentina.
She and Joe also traveled the USA from east to west and north to south, plus Hawaii and Alaska and far into Mexico and Canada. They went on many fishing trips. With lady friends, Betty went on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje.
She is survived by her husband Joe; children Susan (Allan) Orsen of Victoria, Barb (Doug) Leibfried of Prior Lake, Nancy (Steve) Boerboom of Ghent, Bernie (Margene) of Ghent, Louie (Mark Aberle) of Ghent, Matt (Suzanne) of Dallas, TX, and Paul (Sharon) of Marshall; grandchildren Jenny (Christopher) Norgaard, Nick (Jen) Orsen, Tom (Sherry) Leibfried, Erin (Tye) Ferguson, Alissa (Kyle) Haack, John Paul (Emily) Leibfried, Bill (Missy) Boerboom, Wade (Joy) Boerboom, Sonya (Dustin) Vierstraete, Lori Dubbeldee, Krystal (Chris) Lindquist, Jacob (Bridget) Claeys, Lindsay (Ben) Tippetts, and Joe Claeys (Katelyn Birklid); great-grandchildren Addie and Gunnar Norgaard, Sophie and Mia Orsen, Carly (Jake) Robinson, Lex and Arianna Leibfried, Jack and Lucy Ferguson, John Henry, Grace, and Luke Leibfried, Cody, Dylan, and Wyatt Boerboom, Katie Boerboom, Belle and Sam Dieken, Jack, Jonah, and Jesse Vierstraete, Tori and Tiffany Dubbeldee, Katelyn, Jordynn, Caden, Bella, and Leah Lindquist, Olivia, Vance, Devyn, and Ivory Claeys, Reba, Matt, Ellie, and Abbie Tippetts; great-great-grandchildren Ryan and Riley Robinson; brother Mike (Norma) Opdahl of Spicer; brothers- and sisters-in-law Sandy Opdahl of Marshall, Bill Drown of Marshall, Char Opdahl of Des Moines, IA, Doris Claeys of Madison, Jim and Julie Claeys of Marshall; and many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents Harold and Mary; brothers Harold Jr. and Dan; sisters Elaine Opdahl, Clarone Williams, and Sharlene Drown; brothers-in-law Bob Williams and Don Claeys; grandson Chad Leibfried; and great-grandson Carter Boerboom.