Cover photo for Elizabeth "Bette E. (Giese) Church's Obituary
Elizabeth "Bette E. (Giese) Church Profile Photo
1924 Elizabeth "Bette E. 2020

Elizabeth "Bette E. (Giese) Church

October 20, 1924 — May 12, 2020

Elizabeth “Bette” E. (Giese) Church passed away on May 12, 2020, at the age of 95, in Cross Plains, Wisconsin and formerly of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin and Rockton, Illinois.

She was preceded in death by her parents Ernestine Schlotthauer and John Giese, both of her brothers Frank Giese, and Stanley Giese, her first husband Clarence Arendt and second husband John (Jack) Church.

She is survived by her three children Norman (Lucie) Arendt (Stoughton), Tom (Ann) Arendt (Shaftsbury, Vermont) and Helen (Marc Lange) Christison (Baraboo) several grandkids, great-grandkids and many cousins.

Bette was born in Wisconsin Rapids on October 20, 1924, and graduated from Lincoln High School. She worked at various businesses in Wisconsin Rapids and eventually became first a store manager and then regional manager for Spiegels Catalog Company after earning her degree in accounting. When she moved to Illinois she worked for WBEL Radio in South Beloit (Salter Broadcasting). She was very active in religion in Wisconsin Rapids and a teacher in the Baha’i faith in Rockford and Wisconsin, active in the Rebekahs and Odd Fellows, American Legion Auxiliary, and the Ladies Auxiliary Patriarchs Militant. She was chairwomen of the first Wisconsin Rapids Hopa Tree Festivals. She married Clarence Arendt during World War II in 1944, and married John Church after her divorce in 1976. She and John donated extensively to the restoration of Stone Bridge in Roscoe, Illinois as well as to the many environmental and gardening organizations. She loved music, rosemaling, china painting, gardening and cooking.

A Baha’i funeral is planned at Livingston Cemetery in Caledonia and will be followed in the future with a celebration of life. Gifts can be sent to Klehm Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, Il 61102 or to the Alzheimer’s Association online or mail to Alzheimers Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave. Floor 17, Chicago, Ill 60601. Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Crematory assisted the family. Share online condolences at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elizabeth "Bette E. (Giese) Church, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 1

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree