Betty Irene Priebe


July 8, 1923 - Sept. 29, 2012



Betty Irene Priebe, 89, of Madison, passed away Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, at University Hospital in Madison. She was born July 8, 1923, in Milwaukee, the daughter of Knut Arvie and Adele (Raabe) Johnson. 


Betty received her Bachelor of Arts from Milwaukee State Teachers College. After graduation and her marriage to Allen on Feb. 20, 1944, Betty raised her young family and became a recognized watercolorist. After her husband’s death on June 5, 1965, Betty continued her education earning a master’s in library science from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.  She worked as a librarian for many years in Oshkosh, Appleton and Waukesha before retiring. In Betty’s retirement, she continued her pursuit of the arts as a published poet publishing “Porch Shadows,” a collection of her selected poems with Gold Fish Press. Her poems were also published in several poetry magazines, including the Wisconsin Academy Review, Poetry Depth Quarterly, Chrysanthemum, Wisconsin Poet’s Calendar, Poetry People and Free Verse. Her reflections on life through her works connected her with poets from Wisconsin and around the country. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends.


Betty is survived by her sister, Lois Armstrong; her children, Laura Kaye Priebe, Kenneth Knut Priebe and Christopher Marc Priebe; seven grandchildren, Shannon, Ellie, Kelsey, Marc, Kimberly, Tom and Theresa; three great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. 


She was preceded in death by her parents, Knut and Adele Johnson, as well as her husband, Allen.


A celebration of Betty’s life will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at Gunderson West Funeral Home, 7435 University Ave., Middleton.


Gunderson West Funeral & Cremation Care is serving the family. For more information, call 608-831-6761 or visit online at