Bette Rusch

Bette Jayne Rusch (Kauffman)

Thursday, December 8th, 1927 - Tuesday, February 18th, 2020
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Bette J. Rusch, age 92, of Hales Corners, WI passed peacefully in her sleep on February 18, 2020 after a lengthy illness. Bette ‘s friends are comforted knowing that she is now dancing with the angels.
Bette was born and raised in the Milwaukee area. Her parents were Buford and Stella (Wilsung) Kauffman. Bette’s life was severely impacted by the depression and the mental illness of her parents. She experienced an exceptionally difficult childhood and spent much of her formative years in orphanages and foster homes. As a young girl she was separated from her brother, Jack Kauffman, for the rest of their lives.
Bette moved to Kansas City when she was 18 and worked as a nurse at St. Joseph Hospital where she met Fred Holtz (deceased 1981), a hospital ambulance driver. Bette married Fred and had 3 sons-John (family members Linda, wife, and stepsons Jason Prier and Justin Prier and 5 grandchildren): Steve (deceased 1981); and Fred. After Bette and Fred divorced, she returned to Milwaukee.
Bette began her new life in Milwaukee and she married Clifford Rusch (deceased 1994). Bette relished the time she shared with Cliff and his family. Bette’s sense of humor, quick wit and storytelling ability allowed her to develop a wonderful network of friends. She enjoyed a uniquely special relationship with Karen Litwicki who informally adopted Bette into her family.
Bette was widely recognized for her creative crafts work. Bette sold her work at craft shows, designed floral arrangements for numerous weddings and decorated several businesses with seasonal decorations. Cliff enjoyed helping Bette with his woodworking skills.
One of Bette’s great joys late in her life was to connect with her brother, Jack’s family in 2015 when she met nieces, Kathleen and Patricia, and her nephew, Randy. Patty, who lives in the Milwaukee area, became a wonderful friend to Bette.
Bette’s family and friends are genuinely appreciative of the care she received from the staff of the Terrace of St. Francis Long Term Care Facility and the care from the Ascension Hospice staff. Bette’s two dear friends, Marge Laurich and Karen Litwicki, provided incredible care and support to Bette on her journey home.
A complimentary luncheon celebrating Bette’s life will be held Saturday, March 7th @ Noon at That’s Amore Restaurant located at 108th St., Greenfield WI. Please RSVP John Holtz at Cell 913-269-4475 or to help with restaurant preparations.
Interment will be at the Wood National Cemetery on Friday, March 6 at 2:00 PM. If interested in attending please meet in the cemetery office at 1:45 PM.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Friday, March 6th, 2020 | 2:00pm
    Friday, March 6th, 2020 2:00pm
    Wood National Cemetery
    5000 West National Avenue
    Milwaukee, WI 53295-0001
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Meeting at the cemetery office at 1:45 PM


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