Life Story Visitation
Thursday, December 29, 2022
12:00 PM to 2:00 PM EST
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Where food, drinks and stories will be shared.
Thursday, December 29, 2022
2:30 PM EST
Grand Prairie Cemetery
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Betty Lou (Ruse) Blum was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend to many. A wonderful person, there wasn’t anything that Betty wouldn’t do for someone in need. She lived her life fully and treasured her close relationships with her family. Betty leaves behind many wonderful memories for her loved ones to cherish forever.
Reflecting on the 1920s, it was a period of time with a distinctive cultural edge aptly giving the decade the name of the Roaring Twenties. By 1929, the industry was booming until the market crashed that fateful October. Betty Lou was born the oldest of four daughters on February 15, 1929, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her life began just a few months before a tumultuous time in our nation’s history.
Betty lived a very simple childhood. Her growing years were interrupted for a number of years while her mother, Anna (Albert) Ruse, was undergoing treatment for tuberculosis. She and her father, Kleetis Ruse, went to live on her grandparent’s farm. Betty became very close with her cousin, Eleanor during these years. Her father supported their family through his work at Kalamazoo Vegetable Parchment (KVP) Company. Betty fell in love with reading at an early age. Her aunt always gave her books throughout her life helping Betty to enjoy reading for pleasure. Studious as well as ambitious, she graduated with the Class of 1947 from Kalamazoo Central High School. Betty was very quiet in school observing others and focusing on her schoolwork.
After graduation, she worked as a telephone operator at Michigan Bell. During her time there, she met the love of her life, Dave Blum. They joined in marriage on November 27, 1948, in the rectory at St. Augustine’s Church downtown Kalamazoo. The newlyweds traveled to Niagara Falls for their honeymoon before settling down on the east side of Kalamazoo. Over the course of the next five years, they started their family of four wonderful children: Mary, Sue, Dave, and Tom.
As a mother, Betty thrived in her role. She worked until Sue was born, then stayed home to be with her girls. As their family grew to include the boys, they continued to stretch and save their resources. Betty loved volunteering at the kids’ school events. She was a Girl Scout leader and tended to her children’s every need. She was best known for her sunshine cakes, butterhorn rolls, and Grandma Blum’s green Jell-O® salad. Eventually, she and Dave moved to their current home on the Westside of Kalamazoo where they remained for sixty-four years. Always loving and attentive, her children never doubted her love for them over the years.
Betty held many special pastimes. In the late 1960’s, she joined Weight Watchers and found much success. Passionate about the changes she had seen, Betty taught and lectured about her own positive experience with Weight Watchers. She continued her love of reading and enjoyed knitting and made several afghans and baby sweaters and hats for newborns. She and Dave enjoyed their travels to Florida and later their time spent in Hawaii and Toronto. She loved Josh Groban and Big Band music. She was fortunate to have seen Nat King Cole perform at Kalamazoo Central High School many, many, years ago.
Above all else, Betty loved her family. She was used to a big family and looked forward to their many special celebrations together. Her favorite times were the times they spent at their trailer at Sandy Pines. They spent many of their summer weekends there while Dave was still working. The two of them shared a very special bond. Dave always made sure that she had fresh flowers on her coffee table until he passed in 1994. A tradition continued by her, her kids, and her wonderful neighbor, Connie.
Betty always had a love of birds, especially Cardinals. In addition to feeding the birds, she collected Cardinals over the years. Every spring, she challenged her kids and grandkids to a contest of who could be the first to stamp the first ten robins. A stamp meant each time you saw a Robin you had to lick your thumb and put it on the center of your palm and stamp it with a closed fist! She enjoyed making these traditions with her family. Betty also enjoyed a trip to New York and a tour of Europe but was always glad to be home.
As much as Betty relished her role as a mother, she was a treasured grandmother. She was always easy to talk to and helped to care for them when they were younger. Her grandchildren knew that they could always count on grabbing cookies from her orange cookie container on the top of the fridge! They also knew they could heat up a burrito during their special visits with her. Sadly, she had been diagnosed with melanoma. Although she was doing well, she had started to slow down over the past several years and died peacefully at her home surrounded by her family.
Blessed with a compassionate heart, Betty modeled an extraordinary life of service. May her loved ones never doubt the unconditional love she held for each and every one of them and may the special memories they shared warm their hearts for generations to come. Next time you see a Cardinal, think of Betty, and enjoy the warm feeling it brings.
Betty Lou Blum, age 93, died peacefully on December 21, 2022, at her home. Members of her family include four children: Mary (Larry) Lovely, Sue (Mark) Reichert, Dave Blum, and Tom Blum, her four grandchildren: Dan Reichert, Chris Reichert (Julie VanPatten), Cooper Blum, and Darcie Blum, and her cherished soon to be great-grandson. She is further survived by her sister, Judy DeBoer; and brother in laws: Jack Flipse and Tom Tucker, her beloved cousin, Eleanor DeVito, and many nieces and nephews. Cremation has taken place. Please join us at a Life Story Visitation where food, drinks, and stories will be shared on Thursday, December 29, from 12 noon – 2:00 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. A graveside service will follow at 2:30 PM at Grand Prairie Cemetery. Visit Betty’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Centrica Care Navigators or the Kalamazoo Humane Society.