Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Sylvia Betz

April 12, 1951 - July 18, 2019
Kalamazoo, MI



Sunday, July 21, 2019
4:00 PM to 6:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Visit with family and friends while sharing food and drinks.

Driving Directions


Monday, July 22, 2019
11:00 AM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

A luncheon will follow the service in the Life Story Center.

Driving Directions


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.

Kairos Dwelling
2945 Gull Road
Kalamazoo, MI 49048
(269) 381-3688
Driving Directions
Web Site

Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
222 N. Kalamazoo Mall, Ste. 100
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 345-0273
Driving Directions
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


They say laughter is good for the soul and can cure a multitude of ills. For Sylvia Betz, the ability to find the “funny” in most situations and bring laughter to those around her truly made her day. Along with her wonderful sense of humor, Sylvia was positive in nature, had a kind and generous heart and was a friend of many. Sylvia loved nothing more than being surrounded by those she loved, and as her family can attest, she loved unconditionally with a full, committed heart.

Sylvia’s story began at a time when the decade of the 1950s sculpted the culture of America. Although conservative in nature, everything from music to movies, art and media to beloved comic strips and cartoons introduced households to a whole new way of life. Indeed a time of change, this was especially true for Floyd and Margaret (Perrin) Baldus when on April 12, 1951, they welcomed the birth of their little girl, Sylvia Rae into their arms.

A child typical of the 1950s, Sylvia enjoyed all the adventures of a young girl at a time when life revolved around family, responsibility, and hope for the future. Having been born and raised alongside her brother, David in the rural community of Coopersville, Michigan, her father worked as a maintenance and bus garage supervisor at Coopersville High School. Always quite close to her father, Sylvia spent a lot of time with him at auctions and horse shows. Sylvia loved her horses and, all things horses. She treasured the fact that she and her father both shared a bond when it came to horses which meant so much to her throughout her life.

Sylvia’s high school years were a busy time for her. With her contagious laughter and quick smile, she naturally drew others to her side. Both of her parents worked at the high school where her family had always been quite involved. She played the clarinet in the band and was honored to have been chosen to be a part of her senior year homecoming court before graduating from Coopersville High School in 1970.

Family always meant so much to Sylvia so it was no wonder when she married Brad McLouth that her life would revolve around her husband and children. Even from her earliest years as a young wife and mother, Sylvia knew how to make a house a home. Before long she became the loving mother of Christine whom she adored. Sadly, Sylvia’s husband passed away in 1980.

Through the love of family and friends, Sylvia got through this time in her life. It wasn’t always easy, but she never allowed his death to consume or define her. She had a child counting on her, and with strength of heart and ways all her own she was able to carry on.

Sylvia came to know love again in the heart of David Betz, a Muskegon native. He was out on a long run and ran by a co-worker from Shaw Walker who was out in his yard enjoying the sunset with his wife. He stopped to get a drink from their garden hose and through conversation he was asked to join them for dinner that Thursday evening. This couple just happened to be Sylvia’s mother and stepfather.

Needless to say, David and Sylvia were eventually introduced and before long, love was in the air. They were happily married in Muskegon in a ceremony performed by David’s sister, Linda who was a Salvation Army officer and minister. Together they shared the love of two more children in their lives, Matthew and Kimberly. Sylvia lived for her husband and children, and there wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for them.

Sylvia’s heart knew no bounds when it came to family. She defined the meaning of devoted and loving mother, and her dedication to David was evident in her commitment in helping him with his business, Goggin Rental for over 29 years. From the time they were kids, Sylvia and her brother, David shared a special relationship and their friendship was unmatched. Always close, she even ironed his shirts in high school and later she came to be quite close to his children, too.

The holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas were always a special time for Sylvia. She hosted all their family gatherings and insisted on cooking and preparing all the food. In fact, it was Sylvia who made the holidays a holiday! It was truly a gift of time, effort and love on her part, but Sylvia loved every minute of it and all while cooking everyone’s favorite dish or dessert. She was the happiest surrounded by her family. Being the good cook that she was, she loved trying a new dish or two to go along with the traditional holiday fare. As was customary, many would end up in the kitchen with Sylvia talking and enjoying one another’s company. After dinner, a few robust card games were always in order to everyone’s delight.

A close second to family was Sylvia’s love of animals. She had many pets through the course of her life, and too many dogs to count! Of course she has her horses when she was younger, but she was sure to always have a canine companion by her side. She loved her dogs and grand puppies. When her kids were young and since they weren't into horses, Sylvia made sure they always had a furry friend or two at home.

Sylvia had numerous things she loved and enjoyed doing. Full of life and laughter, it didn’t take much to fill her time. At home she always had the game show network on, and as a lover of sports she was an avid MSU fan and supported all professional Michigan teams. Over the years she enjoyed attending and watching her children’s and grandchildren’s sporting, school and other extra events. A true country girl at heart, Sylvia liked line dancing and country music, especially Toby Keith, Alan Jackson and Garth Brooks. Earlier in life she even saw Elvis in concert. Ever proud of her hometown of Coopersville, it would always remain her home.

Sylvia did it all. She was known for her fight against cancer, even in the midst of her own battle with the disease. She was the ultimate fighter of all things she believed in and was passionate about. There was very seldom a middle ground with Sylvia, but she knew how to be fair. An authentic woman of substance, she was never into mind games or politics. Most important to her was being the best she could for her family and the truest of friends. A genuine, pureness of heart exuded from Sylvia and simply stated, she was beautiful from the inside out. And in the hearts of her beloved grandchildren, Sylvia was the best grandma, "Magra" ever!

There are some people who come into our lives and we are forever changed. For those who came to know and love Sylvia Betz, it was evident that her zest for life and free-spirited nature was just as contagious as her exhuberant and nearly uncontrollable laughter. A compassionate and nurturing woman, Sylvia lived each day with a positive nature and happy demeanor. The way she viewed life clearly represented the loving and kind woman she was. She counted her family as her greatest blessing, and in the end she just wanted to remain at home close to them, embracing their love. A beautiful soul, Sylvia will be forever missed and leaves behind footprints of fond remembrances along with numerous memories always to be cherished.

Sylvia Rae Betz, age 68, of Kalamazoo died July 18, 2019 at her home with her family at her side. Her parents, Floyd and Margaret Baldus preceded her in death as well as her first husband, Brad McLouth. Members of her family include her husband of 38 years, David Betz; three children: Christine Betz, Matt (Jess) Betz and Kimberly Betz; two grandchildren: Hunter and Charlotte; brother, David (Jana) Baldus and their children: Carrie (Shane) Lorenz and Kevin (Diane) Baldus. Visit with Sylvia’s family and friends while sharing food and drinks on Sunday (July 21) from 4-6PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home (6080 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo, MI, 375-2900) where services will be held Monday (July 22) at 11AM. A luncheon will follow the service in the Life Story Center. Please visit Sylvia’s personal memory page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Kairos Dwelling or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.