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Elizabeth (Betty) Ann Kleinhenz (Bell) passed away in Columbus, Ohio on October 21, 2023, at the age of almost 92 years. Betty joins her husband Andrew in heaven, they were married for 60 years. She is survived by her children Ann Wennberg (David); John Kleinhenz (Julie); Joseph Kleinhenz; Jerome Kleinhenz (Ann); grandchildren: Ethan, Connor, Katelyn (Robert), and Max as well as nieces, nephews, and numerous friends.
Betty was born on February 20, 1932, and grew up in Columbus where she loved being outdoors. She told many stories about exploring the Glen Echo ravine, long walks,and fun times with her siblings. Being the smallest, she was the family tree climber and eagerly gathered cherries which her mother made into delicious pies. Another activity she enjoyed was swimming and diving at the Olympic Swim Club in Clintonville.
After attending Immaculate Conception Grade School, she went to St. Mary of the Springs Academy graduating in 1950. She greatly enjoyed attending their alumnae events in recent years. At the events, she reminded everyone that her graduating class’s nickname was The Black Sheep and showed off the stuffed black sheep toy she received from the nuns as a graduation gift. Betty continued her education at Good Samaritan Nursing School and became a registered nurse. Her nursing career began with a great adventure as immediately following graduation she and three classmates drove to Phoenix, Arizona where they helped open St Joseph’s Hospital. Betty enjoyed caring for her patients, especially those in the Emergency Room. She had fun exploring the American Southwest and cherished her time there.
Eventually, her nursing career brought her back to Columbus, where she met her husband Andrew (Andy) at a mixer at the St. Thomas More Newman Center at Ohio State University. Betty did not want to go to the event that night, but a friend talked her into going and she was so glad she did. She loved his beautiful blue eyes and kind smile. Betty and Andy married in 1959 after he graduated from OSU and began raising their family.After her children were a bit older, Betty resumed her nursing career as a Hospice and home care nurse. She was quite proud of being an RN and took very good care of her patients.
A long-time Ohio State Buckeye fan, she and Andy enjoyed tailgating with the Buckeye Nuts at OSU football home games and on road trips. They also attended several bowl games. Later in life Betty and Andy enjoyed traveling the US, Germany, Italy, France, and Ireland. They loved visiting family and also religious sites, including Lourdes and the Vatican.
A lifelong devout Catholic, she was active in the parish of Emmanuel in Dayton for 30-plus years. She took great joy in serving the church by arranging flowers inside the church, caring for the flower gardens and even helping to clean the church.The prayer group she joined was also very important to her.
Additionally, Betty was active in several organizations including as president of the Dayton Area Ohio State Alumnae Association; the Pembroke Garden Club where she helped with the yearly Plant Sale and proudly assisted in the renovation of the Grotto Gardens at the Dayton Veterans Medical Center; the Montgomery County Republican Women’s Club; and the Daughters of Erin.
Betty imparted many of her traits to her children, including being independent, fun-loving, adventurous, athletic, and pursuing higher education. Her children remember many camping trips, picnics, outdoor concerts, vacations, and adventures she and Andy took them on. Betty also made sure that holidays and birthdays were special. She was a wonderful mom and will be greatly missed.
Many thanks to the entire Staff at National Church Residences Harmony Trace in Hilliard. Betty moved there after Andy’s passing so she could be close to her daughter. The Staff truly loved Betty and took such good care of her for the past 4 years. They became her family and were a blessing to her. She had so many dear friends there. Thanks also to National Church Residences Hospice. The family will be forever grateful for the care they provided her.
Betty’s funeral will be on Friday, October 27 at 11:00 am at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church 414 E. North Broadway, Columbus, OH 43214. This is the church she grew up in, where she received all her sacraments and was married. Her Funeral Mass will be live-streamed for those unable to attend in person. The linkwill come soon. A Luncheon will follow in the church hall after Mass. To honor Betty’s love of Ohio State Buckeye football, you are encouraged to wear Buckeye gear or something red (her favorite color) to the funeral.
A Committal Service before her burial will be held at the Dayton National Cemetery at the Dayton VA on Friday, November 3 at 2 p.m.
Calling hours will be Thursday, October 26 from 4 to 7 pm at Egan-Ryan Northwest Chapel 4661 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43220.
Instead of flowers, donations may be made to Harmony Trace or Hospice. National Church Residences.
The live stream of the Funeral Mass at 11:00am on Friday, October 27 can be viewed by clicking HERE