Bettie M. Svitanek
Bettie M. Svitanek, nee Andrade, passed away peacefully at home in Round Lake Beach, IL, on January 10, 2015. To those who knew Bettie, she was very social and friendly. She was the hostess of many special gatherings and dinners at her house as she was an excellent cook.
Along with her culinary skills, she enjoyed food such as welsh rarebit, mock chicken legs, and especially, lobster tail and prime rib. Bettie also loved people! She always talked fondly of her cherished longtime neighbors in the community where she lived for over 60 years, her fun loving friends from the bowling league at Lakes Bowl, and her cherished associates/friends from Ammco Tools.
She loved all kinds of animals, but she led a special crusade to feed and look after feral cats in the neighborhood. Buddy, a shiny black cat with yellow eyes, was a motivating force behind Bettie’s happiness and resilience. Bettie was known to be an advocate for Spay and Stay where she met friends Sandy and Linda as well as a contributor to Save a Pet, both animal rescue organizations located in Grayslake. At times, she was a volunteer for Save a Pet and contributed her craft work for their fundraising efforts.
She was a loving wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Bettie had 25 delightful years of marriage to an adoring husband who she shared trips, dinners, indoor cats, and fishing with, both on the Chain of Lakes and on Lake Michigan. Christmas was one of their favorite shared holidays. We, too, always enjoyed her Christmas dinners out to a special restaurant with money saved in a special fund throughout the year.
Family was so very important to her. Bettie was known to video record with narration her grandchildren’s birthday and holiday parties. She would be a number one fan at their soccer games and music concerts. Additionally, she crocheted many baby blankets and afghans for family members. She was always there for her children with encouragement, kindness, and love. She would exchange video recordings with Cheryl at holidays and exchange audio cassettes with Tom when he was stationed in Korea to let him know she was thinking of him. She was a painter, singer, guitarist, and keyboardist. She and her brother Edward shared their talents in keyboards. They had a gift of music. Often we would hear Bettie play songs like America’s “A Horse With No Name” and many others.
Bettie is survived by a daughter, Cheryl Contri of Brunswick, Ohio; a son Thomas (Kathleen) Contri of Spring Grove, Illinois; four grandchildren, Benjamin Contri of Waukegan, Illinois, Stephanie (Rob) Hagele of Brunswick, Ohio, Anthony Contri of Chicago, Illinois, and Carly Contri of Chicago, Illinois; two great-grandchildren, Giselle and Gabby; special niece Debbie Wells; great-nephew, Chris Johnson; and former daughter-in-law and friend, Sherry Walleck.
She was preceded in death by her husband, John, in 2002; her parents; brother, Edward and sister-in-law, Delores.
We would like to thank the Advocate Hospice team and caregivers from Home Instead of Grayslake for their special care and friendship shown to Bettie in her final months. As she would tell you today, “I had a good life.”
Interment will be private. A “Celebration of Life” gathering may be announced at a later date. Memorials may be made in her name to Save a Pet or Spay and Stay, Grayslake, Illinois. Strang Funeral Chapel, 410 East Belvidere Road, Grayslake, IL