Betty Nielsen, age 92, passed away peacefully in her home on Sunday the morning of, January 28, 2024, after bravely facing a lengthy illness. She was surrounded by the love of her family and the memories of a life well-lived.
Betty was born on August 6, 1931, in Rockford, IL, to the late Agnes (Notari) and Amedeo Riganti. She was a proud graduate of Muldoon High School and pursued her passion for nursing at St. Anthony School of Nursing.
In 1953, Betty embarked on the journey of love and marriage with her first husband, Dick Petrauskas. Together they welcomed into the world their beloved daughter and life-long confidante, Linda (Landerholm). In 1968, Betty married Norman Nielsen. Together their union blessed the family with a son, Craig, and another daughter, Eliza Michelle.
Betty embraced the role of mother and housewife with enthusiasm, creating a joyful home for her family at Spring Lake Estates. Her warmth and caring nature extended beyond her family, as she became a familiar face in Rockford through her work in various medical offices and high-end clothing shops over the years. Betty continued to work tirelessly until her final years, alongside her dear friend Janet Govig at Hidden Treasure Estate Sales, affectionately referring to themselves as “Lucy and Ethel” for all their antics.
Summers were a time of joy for Betty, as she savored the California sun in Sacramento and navigated the Northern California waterways by boat. Her larger-than-life personality endeared her to friends on the West Coast, leaving a legendary mark on the hearts of those who knew her.
Betty will be fondly remembered as the epitome of a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend. Her absence leaves an irreplaceable void, and she will be forever missed by all who were fortunate enough to share in her life.
Betty is survived by her sister, Marie Schneeman; her daughter, Linda Landerholm; her son, Craig (Tammy); grandchildren, Brody Richardson and Tonya Landerholm; great-grandchildren, James, Leo, and Angelina; great-great-grandson, Kai. She is predeceased in death by her parents, her infant daughter Eliza Michelle, her husband Norman, and son-in-law Dan Landerholm.
The family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Deguzman for his dedication, Dr. Disanti, Sanctuary Hospice, and caregivers Mary, Myra, Ryan, and Sherry for their compassionate care.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to GiGi’s Playhouse (8801 N. 2nd St., Machesney Park, IL 61115). Betty, known by many names such as Toots, Tootsie, Elizabeth, and her namesake cartoon character Betty Boop, will be celebrated in a memorial service on May 3, 2024, at 12:30 p.m. at Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory, 1860 S. Mulford Road, Rockford, Illinois 61108. A fellowship will follow from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the Lombardi Club 209 Olive Street, Rockford, Illinois 61107. Her spirit will live on in the hearts of those who cherished her infectious laughter, warm embraces, and unwavering love. To send online condolences or share memories, please visit www.fitzgeraldfh.com