Betty Lorenz was born May 16, 1941 at home to Dent O. and H. Elsie (Vest) Lake at Hammond, (later Fairmont) West Virginia. She passed away July 24, 2019 at Rapid City Regional Hospital, Rapid City, SD. She spent her childhood on the family farm at Rock Lake with two brothers, a sister, grandmother and aunt.
Betty attended grade school at Quiet Dell School and was valedictorian of her 8th grade class. Her high school was at East Fairmont High, where she pursued classes pertaining to nursing school. Upon completion of high school, she traveled to Tampa, Florida to stay with her uncle S.G. Linn and attended Brewster Vocational School of Practical Nursing and graduated September 1960 and worked at Tampa General Hospital.
In December of 1960 she returned to Fairmont, WV and on January 31, 1961 she enlisted in the US Army and had basic training and clerical training at Ft. McClellan, Alabama. While at Ft. McClellan she met her husband to be, Frank J. Lorenz of Gordon, NE and they were married June 21, 1961 at Buchannan, GA. Betty served in the admissions office at West Point Military Academy at West Point, NY and in the USA Education Center at Ft. McClellan, AL and was honorably discharged June 18, 1962.
Betty and Frank returned to Gordon after Frank completed his military service in September of 1962. Frank worked for the police department while Betty did private duty nursing and then for a short time, she worked at the Gordon Memorial Hospital. She was employed as department manager at Lee Stores for 3 years and then as a Licensed Practical Nurse for the Gordon Good Samaritan Nursing Home until she was needed at home to care for her mother-in-law, Margaret who had broken both hips.
Betty and Frank purchased their home in 1967 (known as Midway) north of Gordon and had to remodel it as the place had been vacant and vandalized. In August of 1969 they moved into their home and in 1970 reestablished Midway Store and built the Midway Rifle and Pistol Range which was enjoyed by many shooters. Betty and Frank operated the store together and both were gunsmiths and loved the work. They also helped to raise six children of a friend until the death of Frank on June 15, 1991 of cancer. Betty and Frank had no children of their own.
In May of 1991 Betty suffered a TIA and was hospitalized with Frank at the VAMC in Hot Springs, SD. While they both were hospitalized their friend of many years, Donald Yekel was caring for their home and business and remained at Midway as helper with Betty after she returned home from the hospital. In October 1992 Donald became ill and Betty made sure that he had a home and made the many trips for medical care with him and also made trips to Torrington, WY so he could visit with family. On April 11, 1998, Donald passed away of a major heart attack.
Betty always enjoyed visiting with friends and family and spent many hours with the animals and her flowers and trees. She also enjoyed painting, ceramics, some sewing, canning and baking.
Her survivors are brother Dale L Lake (Sandi) of Sparks, Nevada and children Kevin and Jill, brother Don J Lake (Eileen)of Topeka, KS and children Sheila, Dennis, Janell, Dion, Daniel, Dale and Damian, and her sister Janie M Boyce (Keith) of Fairmont, West Virginia. Also, the children her and Frank helped raise for 25 years, Lori Henderson, Brian K Howard, Billie Jo Howard, Kristy Howard, Wanda Leeper and William Howard and their families.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, July 30, 2019, 10:00 AM at Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home in Gordon, NE. Burial will be held in the Gordon Cemetery. A memorial has been established for the Nebraska Children’s Home Society, Boys Town, American Cancer Society or the Gordon American Legion and donations may be sent to Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366, Gordon, NE 69343.
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