Elizabeth J. Simonds of Portage went to be with her Lord and Savior on February 17, 2023. Betty was born in Kalamazoo on July 29, 1930 to Matthew and Elizabeth (Kalinowski) Mauer. Betty was a graduate of St. Augustine High School and attended Kalamazoo Valley Community College. She worked as a bookkeeper and podiatric assistant at Simonds Foot & Ankle Clinics. But her most important profession was to be the mother of her “Five Beautiful Children.” Betty loved attending her children’s (and later grandchildren’s) sporting, musical, and dance events. She helped support her kids’ interests and was involved in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Betty enjoyed entertaining and there was always room for one more at her table.
She was a faithful fan of the Detroit Red Wings, Lions, Tigers, and Pistons. Betty attended Notre Dame and Western Michigan University sporting events and had memorized the number for every sports channel. She hosted numerous Kalamazoo Kings baseball players. Betty played tennis well into her eighties and volunteered at the Boys National Tennis Tournament each summer.
Betty was always up for a good debate and was never afraid to share her own political opinions.
She was generous with her time and volunteered at Ascension Borgess Hospital Gift Shop, the Portage Senior Center, and the KIA Art Fair. She was a Eucharistic Minister at St. Monica Catholic Church as well as Borgess and Bronson Hospitals.
Betty was always up for an adventure and loved to travel the world whether by plane, train, bus or cruise ship. Her favorite destination outside the United States was Rome.
She built or remodeled several homes in her life, including her last residence at Oakland Hills. There she attended many social gatherings and played bridge and euchre. Betty and her friends loved to attend musical and theatre performances at the Kalamazoo Symphony, Concert Band, The Gilmore, Miller Auditorium, Farmers Alley, and The Barn Theatre.
Her Catholic faith and devotion to daily Mass and praying the Rosary, sustained her through many challenges. She was a strong advocate for Right to Life of the unborn.
She was preceded in death by her brothers, Dr. Ed Mauer of Illinois and Matt Mauer of Scottville; and her beloved dog Schatzi. She is survived by her children: Nancy & Terry Haas of Schoolcraft, Dr. James & Mary Simonds of Kalamazoo, David Simonds of Portage, John & Anita Simonds of Grand Rapids, and Mary & Kent Matthews of Kalamazoo; her grandchildren: Justin (Rikki) Matthews, Sara (Chad) Janssen, Jack Simonds, Derek Haas, Kevin Simonds, Aleks (Hunter) Helsel, Dan Simonds, Elizabeth (Jason Mais) Matthews, Erika (Dennis Hoekzema) Simonds , Luke Simonds, Shelby Simonds, Emily Matthews, Jake Simonds, and Matthew Simonds who was born on Betty’s birthday; her great-grandson Ace Matthews and Baby Helsel due in July; her siblings: Michael & Julie Mauer of Belmont, Barbara Mauer of Parchment, Richard & Sharon Mauer of Parchment; Special Sister-In-Law Barbara Redmond of Kalamazoo; Nancy Mauer of Scottville and Jean Mauer of South Barrington, IL; and several nieces and nephews.
Betty’s family would like to thank her wonderful neighbors at Oakland Hills. Thank you for delivering meals, getting her mail and newspaper, and checking in on her over the last year. We also appreciate the support from Centrica Home Care and the Rose Arbor Hospice Staff, who provided remarkable and compassionate care to Betty.
Visitation for family and friends will be held at Redmond Funeral Home on South Westnedge on Monday, February 20 2023 from 5-7 PM.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 10 AM at St. Monica Catholic Church, Luncheon to follow. Burial at Mt. Olivet Cemetery at 1 PM.
Memorials may be made to St. Monica Catholic Church and School or Hackett Catholic Prep.