Elizabeth “Bette” A. Schmidt, whom her loved ones affectionately referred to as “Mama” passed peacefully in her sleep on April 24, 2022 in Eau Claire, WI after months of declining health.
Bette was born on January 5, 1953 in Samuels, KY to James and Alice (Lowery) Vittitoe. Due to the untimely death of her mother, Bette along with her 9 siblings were placed into adoption. Bette and her brother Tommy were adopted together by Dr. William and Ruth Howard of Lebanon, KY. She resided there until she joined the Army after high school. During that time she was stationed in Texas where she met her first husband David Sova. They resided in Beeville, TX until they moved to Medford, WI in 1974, where they took up farming and were blessed with their three children Pamela, Penny and Patrick.
Bette was an avid gardener and she enjoyed canning. She also loved animals, swimming and music and was happiest when she was surrounded by her children and friends.
Bette and David divorced in 1992, and she continued to reside in Medford. She met her second husband Daniel Schmidt and they were married March 6, 1999. Bette and Daniel loved going camping, having cook outs and playing cards with friends. They also loved going on Krug Bus Tours, going out to eat and relaxing on a park bench outdoors watching nature. Although they had many interests, they only needed each other’s companionship to have a fulfilling marriage.
Although Bette battled mental illness her entire life, she always worked until her physical and mental health prevented it. She was a very hard worker, enjoyed her colleagues, and took pride in being productive, involved, and giving her best effort. She was the kind of person that would give you the shirt off her back and ask for nothing in return. She was never looking for a free handout.
Faith was very important to Bette. She loved being an active member of the church, and developed lasting friendships with many parishioners. Through her church, she enjoyed giving back to the community through fund raising, bible study and puppet shows. Her gentle nature was a comfort to be around. Her laugh could light up a room.
As her health declined, she maintained her optimism and positive attitude, looking forward to getting out and about with friends and family. Those who cared for her will especially miss her as she was a devoted friend, and a true testament of a mother’s love and selflessness. Along with her children and grandchildren, she will be greatly missed by nieces, nephews and friends. She was truly one of God’s soldiers and a child of the light.
Bette is preceded in death by biological parents James and Alice (Lowery) Vittitoe, adoptive parents, Dr. William and Ruth (Farrar) Howard and brothers William Vittitoe and Thomas Howard. She is survived by husband Daniel Schmidt, daughters Pam (Ryan Alexander), Penny (Jim Grant) and Son Patrick Sova (Amy Fiengo), grandchildren Ireland and Flynn Alexander and Avery and Tony Grant, brothers James and the late (Sharon) Vittitoe, Steve (Pat) Vittitoe, Jennie and the late Ronald Embry, Gregory Vittitoe, Michael (Janice) Brohm, David Edlind, Mary Ann (Bill) Nelson, Michael Howard, Mary Pat Howard and many nieces and nephews.
A special thanks to Audrey Homer, Brian Bellendorf, Amy Fiengo and Tara Parks who offered love care and support during this time.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the family for designation at a later time.
Funeral service for Bette will take place at 11 am on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at the First Baptist Church in Medford, WI. Visitation will take place at the church that morning from 10 am until the time of service. Private family burial will take place in the New Evergreen Cemetery/Evergreen Cemetery II in Medford, WI.
Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com.
Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with
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