Elizabeth (Betty) Skierka, 83, of Stevens Point passed away February 24, 2017, after a courageous battle with leukemia.
She left this earth to meet her Heavenly Father, surrounded by her family, hospice and nursing staff. At the moment she passed, a large white blanket of snow was falling.
“The snow is a reflection of the power of God. It disrupts our plans and makes us rethink our priorities. What we thought was important becomes unimportant. We discover that we can live without doing this and going there. Snow is a gentle sign of God’s great power and reminds us that he is the sovereign of the universe. It is his plan, not ours, that prevails.” (Fr. Peter Daly National Catholic Reporter, Jan 1, 2016).
We were saddened to see her leave but we knew she could not stay and it was not ours to decide.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Elizabeth will be held at 10:30 AM Fri., March 3, 2017 at St. Peter Catholic Church, Rev. Arul Joseph V will officiate. Visitation will be held from 9 AM to 10 AM on Friday at church; a parish rosary will be prayed at 10 AM.
Betty was the daughter of the late Frank and Mary (Kruzitski) Klismith.
Below are memories Betty had written:
“I was born July, 8, 1933 at 5:20 PM in the Klismith homestead farmhouse on Hwy 10 east of Stevens Point. I didn’t have a middle name until I was confirmed; I chose Evelyn. I started 1st grade early at 5 yrs old in the Stockton School House where the bldg. still stands today. There was no indoor plumbing and a big wood stove kept us warm in the winter. We brought water in from the pump outside into a crock-type bubbler. I attended there up to 6th grade. Later, Leona (Klismith) Bembenek & I were picked up by the bus & attended 7th & 8th grades together at St. Stanislaus School.”
“My dad, Frank, died of a heart attack Mar 21, 1945 – I was in the 7th Grade. I graduated 8th grade at age 12 in 1946. Leona & I then attended St. Joseph’s Academy All-Girls School. Part of the time we stayed in the old, original St. Michaels Hospital on the 4th floor south, and worked (there) after school. Leona in the office, as she was older, and I in the diet kitchen. We came home on long weekends if we didn’t have to work. I graduated high school in 1950 at age 16. Then I also got a job in the hospital office. While I was in high school, our farm was wired for electricity, but no running water while I lived there. Lamps were used in the house and lanterns out in the barn for chores. We had cows, pigs, chickens, sometimes ducks & geese. I milked 1 or 2 cows before school.”
Betty’s love for music and faith started early at the farm. She had a beautiful voice.
“After school I worked at the hospital office a year; then I went back and worked on the farm for a while but not long. The Ted Menzel Family (family friends), who visited us often, encouraged me to start a career in banking at the First National Bank” (which is the bldg that is now the Wooden Chair Restaurant).
Betty married Frank Skierka on Aug 28, 1954 at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Stevens Point. In 1960 she left the bank, as she had started a family and she was a bookkeeper for the family business.
Some of Betty’s accomplishments include the following: raising a large family with a strong faith and work ethic (we picked everything from cucumbers to rocks), Betty (along with her husband Frank) founded the Choraleers Polka Mass group in 1979 for which she participated for 32 years. Betty was a vocal advocate of the Smogeski Health Fund that assists families in need to obtain vitamins, eyeglasses & dental supplies in the City of Stevens Point. She was an active participant at St. Peter Catholic Church.
Her interests included organic gardening, holistic healing, cooking, sewing, singing/music and her faith.
Betty grew up in a large family, and raised a large family of her own. She is survived by her husband, best friend and love of her life, Frank; her six children: William (Bill), JoAnn (Charlie) Rutta, Julie Belt, Mary (Dave) Kazmierczak, Barbara (Jay Zellmer), and Robert; grandsons Anthony, Tim, Jeff & Drake; and her sister Amelia Glodoski. She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters: Regina Prondzinski, Leona Bembenek, and Kathleen Prondzinski and her brothers: Henry, Ben, Ray, Frank and Ed, and daughter-in-law, Laurie (Bill) Skierka.
Online condolences may be sent by visiting http://www.shudafuneral.com.