Christian 12

Elizabeth Jean Reetz

March 12, 1938 ~ May 27, 2022 (age 84)


Elizabeth (Betty) Reetz, age 84, of Wisconsin Rapids, passed away Friday, May 27, 2022 at Marshfield Medical Center in Marshfield, WI.

A Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, June 2, 2022 at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church.  Fr. Jerome Patric and Fr. William Menzel will officiate.  Entombment will be at Forest Hill Mausoleum.  Visitation for relatives and friends will be from 9:00 A.M. until the time of Mass on Thursday at the church.

Elizabeth (Betty) Reetz was born on March 12, 1938 to the late Harold John Spangler and Regina (Gene) Markofski Spangler. She was born at the Berlin Memorial Hospital, Berlin WI. She grew up and lived above the Spangler Bakery and attended Washington Grade School on the west side or Lincoln Grade School on the east side. It was based on if they had too many students in one class, they would just shift Betty to the other school. In high school she took typing, learning to type on a manual Royal typewriter with no printed keys and Gregg shorthand. She graduated from Berlin High School.

She noted growing up living above the Spangler Bakery had its perks. She has fond memories of the candy making, especially the taffy part, when Grandpa Peter would cut off small ends of the taffy after it had been cooked and pulled on a taffy hook, and the taffy was still warm, soft and oh so delicious. Yummy. Christmas candy-cane making was also a special occasion in addition to the taffy. There were other specialties that included peanut brittle, homemade chocolates, including peanut clusters, caramels and other assorted chocolate delicacies.  When she was starting eighth grade the family moved to the Spangler farm. She thought the world had come to an end as she no longer had access to friends except at school and had to ride the dreaded big yellow school bus and no longer had friends close by.

After high school Betty became a legal secretary. She found a job as a stenographer, (they weren’t called legal secretaries in those days) with the law firm of Bouck, Hilton, Dempsey & Magnusen in Oshkosh. She worked for them for 14 years. About this time Betty’s brother Don was dating Mary Jane Johnson whose friend Joanne Reetz had a brother Dick. You guessed it, they set up a blind date between then and “the rest is history”! They were married May 24, 1958. They recently celebrated 64 years of marriage.

They settled into a small house in Winneconne. They were blessed with two sons, Gregory and Richard “Scott”.  In June of 1969 they would move to Wisconsin Rapids. Dick had taken a job prompting the move. In 1971 she accepted a job with another law firm Brazeau, Potter, Wefel and Netteshiem. She would continue to work there for the next 19 years. She enjoyed legal work, especially estate planning and probate.  While working as a legal secretary she was a charter member of two legal secretary associations, Winnebago County in 1969 and Wood County in 1972 (serving as charter President). With this came membership in the state and national associations and the opportunity to travel, especially on the national level. She started out her state association involvement by serving as chapter governor, corresponding secretary, president elect and finally president. Following her presidency, she was elected national director the national association. During these years, Dick and Betty traveled to both sate and national meetings, including a national seminar as part of a Hawaiian cruise. Of the many cities visited, Salt Lake City, Utah was their favorite. Dick’s job when traveling was to locate the church and find Mass times. We Catholics would then gather and proceed to church. One of her career goals was to become certified as a professional legal secretary (PLS). This involved sitting for a two-day exam compared to the bar exam attorneys must pass to qualify to practice law. In summer of 1988 she worked toward this goal and in September she took the test and just before Thanksgiving she received the letter addressed to “Elizabeth J Reetz, PLS” which meant she had passed all seven sections on the first try-not an easy feat but well worth it.  

They spent many years vacationing at Pope’s Lodge in Minocqua along with taking family trips. After thanksgiving they would spend the next few weeks making multiple types of candy and sharing with family and friends. Betty also loved her flower’s and her yard was always beautiful with baskets and barrels of geraniums, ivy, and many other flowers.

On May 1, 2000, she turned off her office computer, hung up her shorthand pad and left the legal profession to join Dick in retirement. Retirement included summers at the Reetz Retreat, their summer home in the Harrison Hills on Long Lake in northern Lincoln County.  Her children, Greg and Scott and their families spent a lot of time at the lake making memories. There was fishing, walking around the lake, doing projects and making memories. Over the years her grandchildren Joshua, Ann, Tabitha, Alex and Trevor would join them followed by great grandchildren, Kennedy, Ky, Rylee, Lily, Rayden, Ashton. She treasured all her time with all her grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

Betty adopted the philosophy “better busy than bored” as a young adult. She enjoyed golf and cross- country skiing when younger. She loved taking all kinds of classes, especially craft classes. This led to interest in ceramics, bridge playing, craft painting, quilting, basket weaving, calligraphy and card creating. She wanted to have activities that would take her through retirement. She jokingly says she wants to qualify for honors basket weaving classes when she gets to the nursing home. She shared many of her “creations” with family and friends that will be treasured.

She is survived by her husband Richard (Dick) Reetz, Children Greg Reetz and Scott (Diane) Reetz. Grandchildren Joshua (Heather) Reetz, Ann (Mike) Burger, Tabitha Reetz, Alex Conrad, Trevor Conover.

Great-Grandchildren: Kennedy, Kyleigh, Rylee, Lily, Rayden, Ashton and one more due in December.

Siblings, Kathy (Lee) Wegner, David (Pat) Spangler. Sister-in-law Mary Jane Spangler.

Also survived by many nieces and nephews.  Special “extra” family, Amy Eswein, Lacey (Eben) Peck, Elyxa and Mattox.

She is preceded in death by Her parents, Brother Don, Dexten Peck, fur babies Fritz, Molly and Maggie.

Special thank you to Marshfield Medical Center ER, 6N and Palliative care all you did to care and to Herman-Taylor Funeral Home for assisting us with all the arrangements.

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June 2, 2022

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
820 13th Street South
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494

Funeral Mass
June 2, 2022

11:00 AM
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
820 13th Street South
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494

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