Freethought Today · June / July 2016

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

In Memoriam: Beatrice ‘Betty’ L. Petz

Beatrice 'Betty' L. Petz
1929-2016

FFRF member Beatrice "Betty" Lorraine Petz died April 29, 2016. She was born on Oct. 24, 1929, in Firozpur, India, where her father was stationed while in the British Army.

She later moved to Scotland, where she lived until 1948 when she met her future husband, Ralph Eric Petz. They married on June 8, 1948, and were married for 50 years before Ralph died in August 1998. Betty lived in Winona, Minn., for 53 years, living in the same home before moving to Sugar Loaf Assisted Living. She was actively involved at the Winona Art Center, where many of her oil paintings were displayed. She also was a talented seamstress, cook, gardener and landscaper. Betty traveled extensively in her lifetime throughout the United States, Asia and Europe, and made frequent visits to Scotland, Ireland and England to visit family. She was known to family and friends as being spunky, intelligent, independent, with liberal views on religion and politics.

She is survived by daughters Diane Petz and Jackie Petz; and son, Bruce Petz and his wife, Jan Petz. She is survived by grandchildren Jon Scharmer-Weinberg and his husband Edje, Jeffrey Scharmer and his wife Joan, Jessica Pena, and Andrew Petz and his wife Sarah. She also has seven great grandchildren.

Betty's daughter Diane wrote to FFRF and wanted to take over her mother's membership. "My mother was very forthright in telling our family about her beliefs," Diane Petz wrote. "Over the years, I have come to appreciate her views. I respect all beliefs and also believe strongly that one's religious beliefs should definitely stay out of politics."

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