Betty Leona Patera died of natural causes at Northern Montana Hospital Tuesday, Sept. 24. Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, at Holland & Bonine Funeral Chapel, with burial in Highland Cemetery. The family has requested that memorials be made in Betty’s name to the American Cancer Society or the charity of the donor’s choice. Holland & Bonine Funeral Home has been entrusted with services and arrangements, and you can leave your memories and/or condolences for the family at http://www.hollandbonine.com.
Betty Draeger was born in Havre, Mont ., to William and Leona (Rosenbaum) Draeger May 22, 1931, at the Deaconess Hospital. Her early years were spent on the family farm near Box Elder. At the age of five, Betty lost her father in a tragic accident and was forced to grow up at a very young age.
Betty spent her youth moving with her mother (a teacher) to many of the rural schools in which she attended and her mother taught. She attended Chinook High School and participated in many activities and demonstrated her ability in music. She was a soloist numerous times during this period. Betty went on to take courses at Northern Montana College at the same time as her mother and then taught in Choteau County for a short time.
She moved to Havre and worked as a bookkeeper for H. Earl Clack and then as a telephone operator for Mountain Bell. Betty met and then married John Patera in 1953 and four children were born of this union: Bruce, Daryl, Cheryl, and William. She was very proud being the mother of twins.
Betty took great pride in providing a nice home for her family. She took pleasure in the work ethic she followed during her lifetime. There were many times she finished work at Anderson Grocery or Safeway, came home, fixed meals, and during much of her spare time, sewed articles of clothing for her children.
Betty was a first-rate seamstress and was largely self-taught. She could sew everything from formal gowns to finely tailored suits. In her later years, Betty created beautiful cross-stitch and marvelous cutwork. Not only could she sew extremely well, she could also cook great meals and splendid desserts. She mastered many of the ethnic dishes of her husband John’s family and made the best chocolate chip cookies in the country.
Betty never missed attending her children and grandchildren’s programs, concerts, performances, and athletic events. She was also very proud of all of the accomplishments of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
During her working life, Betty was respected for her hard work by all the people that knew her. Numerous people still have a fondness for the years they knew Betty at Safeway. Her co-workers remember her as a kind, helpful person. Betty’s later years were filled with memories of people she met and friends she made along the way. She will be missed by many.
Betty was preceded in death by her husband John, son Daryl, parents William and Leona Draeger, and her brothers Paul, Walter, and William.
She is survived by her children Bruce (Jean) Patera of Havre, Cheryl (Doug) Dusek of Havre, and William Patera (Colleen Roll) of Turner; grandchildren Maggie (Robert) Koons of Red Deer, Alberta, Christopher (Kiera) Patera of Havre, Andrew Dusek of Washington D.C ., and Nicci Dusek of Missoula; and three great grandchildren, Daniel, Rhoda, and Chelsea.