Elizabeth Lucille Kochan passed away peacefully Wednesday May 26. She was 95.
Betty was born April 20, 1926 to Elizabeth (Fettig) and James Burke. She was the second of five children.
Betty married Walt, the love of her life, in St Mary’s Catholic Church, Plainfield, NJ July 20, 1948. They spent 71 years together before Walt passed away in 2019.
In their early years they lived in Logan UT and New Brunswick NJ while Walt pursued his Doctorate. They then moved to Idaho where they lived in Parma for 24 years. During that time Betty played an active role in local charities and church. She volunteered with, and was chairman once, of the Parma American Cancer Society. She also volunteered with, and organized, the local Parma Red Cross Blood Bank for several years. With a few friends, she would travel to Nampa once a week, to the state school, to help the staff feed the patients. She was a member of the PTA and chaired that group for one year. She was an active member of the Alter Society of the Parma Catholic Church. Betty enjoyed riding her bike with her friends and picking wild asparagus in the spring. She swam laps daily during the summer at the Parma Pool. She learned to downhill and cross-country ski. The family camped, hiked and backpacked in the summers. Betty and Walt bought a small cabin in McCall and spent many happy years hunting for morels mushrooms in the spring, picking huckleberries in July, canoeing and boating on Payette Lake and skiing in the winter.
They moved to Moscow in 1980 where Betty happily accepted her new town. She would later call Moscow “the best place I’ve ever lived”. She played in several bridge groups and she and Walt learned to golf. Betty continued to give back to the community. She and Walt were Sacristans at St Mary’s Catholic Church. Both Betty and Walt delivered Meals on Wheels and later volunteered at the Moscow Food Bank. Betty also helped to sort donations for a Pullman based church thrift shop. She enjoyed good times with her many friends, the large garden she and Walt cultivated each summer and trips to McCall. To sum up Betty she truly enjoyed life and did her best to make each day a happy one both for herself and those around her.
Betty is survived by her daughter, Kathleen, and son-in-law Phil and numerous nieces and nephews. Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Walter, her parents, two brothers and two sisters.
A rosary will be recited at St Mary’s Church at 10:30 on Thursday June 10 followed by a Funeral Mass at St Mary’s Church at 11:00. A reception and luncheon will follow at St. Mary’s Family Center.
In lieu of flowers donations to the Moscow Food Bank are suggested. The address is PO Box 9106, Moscow ID 83843.
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