EAST GRAND RAPIDS, MICH.

Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Clara Congdon (nee Svehlek)

Jan. 25, 1930 - March 30, 2011

Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Clara Congdon (nee Svehlek) of East Grand Rapids, Mich., formerly of Waukesha, passed peacefully from the loving arms of her family to her eternal life Wednesday, March 30, 2011. She was 81 years old.

Betty was born Jan. 25, 1930, to Leo and Clara Svehlek on the old Svehlek homestead in Brookfield. She grew up in Elm Grove, where she met and married her beloved husband Bob in 1948. They moved to Waukesha to raise their family where Betty was the devoted and tireless mother of five boys. In 1974, she and Bob moved to East Grand Rapids, Mich., where they still reside.

Her faith and her family were the most important things in her life. Betty loved spending time with her family, reveled in spoiling her grandchildren, and doted on her great-grandchildren. She enjoyed travelling to visit her children where ever their careers had taken them. She could always be found attending her grandchildren’s many events and performances. The Congdon home was always a welcoming place for her children’s and grandchildren’s many friends. She loved to open their home to huge Thanksgiving family gatherings, always seeming to find one more bed for one more grandchild. She modeled a life of generosity and steadfast love to all who knew her. Even in the overwhelming trials of her final weeks, she continued to worry about who had travelled or needed to get rest.

Betty is survived by her devoted husband of 63 years, Robert A. Congdon; her five sons, Bob (Sue) Congdon of Medford, N.J., Richard (Linda) Congdon of Waukesha, Dennis (Janet) Congdon of Danville, Ky., Thomas (Paula) Congdon of South Milwaukee, and Doug (Christine) Congdon of East Grand Rapids, Mich.; her 12 grandchildren, Amy, Jeff, Shawn, Michelle, Matthew, Makensie, Evan, Tom, Michael, John, Lauren, and Catherine; her six great-grandchildren, Ethan, Connor, Nathan, Hannah, Jack and Jenna; loving sister-in-law, LaRae Svehlek of Brookfield, Jim (Esther) Congdon of Waukesha, and Mary (Ray) Worley of Milwaukee. Betty will be further missed by many nieces, nephews and dear friends.

She joins in eternal life her sister, Jane Yashinsky; brother, Jerome Svehlek; and several cousins very dear to her heart.

The family wishes to thank the warm and professional staff of Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital in East Grand Rapids, Mich.

The Mass of Christian Burial for Betty will be at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, April 11, 2011, at St. Mary Visitation Parish, 1260 Church St., Elm Grove, WI 53122. The visitation will be from 12:30 p.m. until the time of the mass at the church on Monday. There will also be a visitation on Sunday, April 10, 2011, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home, 237 N. Moreland Blvd., Waukesha. Burial will be at St. Mary Visitation Parish Cemetery, Elm Grove.

Memorials are appreciated to St. Mary Visitation Parish, 1260 Church St., Elm Grove, WI 53122, or the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, 30 N. Division St., Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home, Cremation and Pre-Planning Services is serving the family. For online obituary or to leave a condolence, please visit www.WaukeshasFuneralHome.com, or call 262-542-6609.