Betty Lou Tikalsky
Dec. 12, 1923 — Sept. 3, 2014
Betty Lou Tikalsky, a longtime Waukesha resident, died with family by her side on Wednesday, September 3, 2014, at Three Pillars in Dousman at the age of 90.
She was born in Oshkosh on December 12, 1923, the daughter of Harvey and Hildegard (nee Zentner) Barthels. Betty Lou was a 1946 graduate of Carroll College. On July 23, 1949 she married Attorney Donald J. Tikalsky; he preceded her in death on September 10, 2009. Betty Lou was a pillar in the Waukesha community. In addition to being at the heart of frequent family gatherings, her life was committed to education and Waukesha’s quality of life. She served in leadership roles in numerous non-profit organizations, including serving on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Carroll College, Friends of the Waukesha Public Library, Waukesha Memorial Hospital Foundation, Waukesha Service Club, Caring Place and the Waukesha YWCA. She served on the Board of Trustees of the Waukesha County Historical Society & Museum and was a “founding mother” of Women Connected, a charity dedicated to improving access to health-care education and patient comfort.
Betty Lou was honored in 2007 with the Waukesha Community Foundation Women of Distinction Award and in 2004 with the Carroll University Distinguished Alumna Award for Community Service for her lifelong dedication to improving the quality of lives in Waukesha County. Carroll’s departments of Communications and Sociology are now housed in the Betty Lou Tikalsky House. She also volunteered and served on committees with many other organizations including the Children’s Service Society, Interfaith Care-giving Network, March of Dimes, Parent’s Place, Waukesha Civic Theatre, Waukesha Easter Seals, Waukesha Symphony Orchestra, and the Waukesha Women’s Center. Betty Lou was a longtime member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where she was an active volunteer and served on the parish council as its first woman president.
Betty Lou enjoyed swimming, playing tennis, bridge and investing with her many dear friends. She was an avid reader, genealogist, and gardener. Her warm smile, and gentle approach will be forever missed, but her gifts to the Waukesha community will never be forgotten.
Betty Lou will be dearly missed by her daughters, Susan “Cookie” (Albert Friedman) Tikalsky of Madison, and their children: Emma Rose and Joseph, and Terry Ann (Thomas) Stevens of Waukesha, and son, James (Stephani) Tikalsky of Bloomington, Minn., and their children: Libby and Sid. She is also survived by her son J. Steven (Eleanor) Tikalsky of Pewaukee, and their children: Jesra, Elissa, Barry and Rory. She will also be fondly remembered by her sisters-in-law and her nine nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband Donald, she was preceded in death by a grandchild, Donnie, and sister and brother, Gloria and Dayne Barthels.
The family wishes to thank her many friends who loyally visited and assisted in her care, especially JoAnn, Jan, Julie, Brandi and Valene.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, September 10, from 10:00AM until the time of the 11:00AM funeral Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 225 S. Hartwell Avenue, Waukesha, WI (corner of Newhall and Hartwell avenues). Father Howard Haase and Father Paul Hartmann will celebrate. Private entombment will be held at St. Joseph Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to the charity of the donor’s choice or to the Donald J. and Betty Lou Tikalsky Community Fund, which supports the Waukesha Public Library’s children’s programs and Waukesha Reads (Waukesha County Community Foundation, 2727 N. Grandview Blvd., Waukesha, WI 53188). Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral Home, Crematory and Preplanning Services is honored to serve the family. For further information, please call the funeral home at 262-547-4035 or visit www.waukeshafunerals.com for directions or to leave the family an online tribute message.