STERLING - Elizabeth Ann “Betty” (Burke) Widolff, 87, died peacefully on March 8, 2020 in Sterling.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 14 at St. Andrew Catholic Church, Rock Falls. Burial will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Tampico. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Betty’s life. Visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. on Friday, March 13 at McDonald Funeral Home, 1002 12th Ave., Rock Falls with a prayer service at 2:45 p.m.
Elizabeth and her twin brother, Daniel were born Aug. 16, 1932 in Amboy to Elizabeth and Daniel Burke. They were honored to be named after their parents. She married William “Bill” Widolff on April 23, 1955.
Survivors include her loving husband of 64 years; 11 children, Patrick (Patricia) of Orangeville, Mary (Rich) Poling of Sherwood, Ark., Ann (Mark) Hoffman of Troy, Mo., Joan (Darryl) Miller of Rock Falls, Rose (Joe) Wernicke of Indianapolis, John (Marcia) of Rock Falls, Monica (John) Furrow of Fishers, Ind., Pete (Angie) of Galesburg, Cecille (John) Karls of Lodi, Wis., Celeste Widolff (Tom Carter) of Rossville, and Gerard (Heather) of Rock Falls; 30 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; one sister, Regina Johnson of Nerinx, Ky.; two sisters-in-law, Carol Widolff of West Brooklyn and Lu Burke of Dixon; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Mary Ellen Murray and Margaret Friel; five brothers, Joseph, James, Frank, Daniel and Edward Burke; and 12 brothers- and sisters-in-law, John Murray, Doris Burke, Nate Friel, Clarence Johnson, Darlene Burke, Mary Jean Burke, Vivian Goy Burke, Esther and Robert Brechon, Eleanor and William Van Hoose and Joseph Widolff.
Betty graduated from Amboy High School in 1950 and worked at USF& G as a keypunch operator before her marriage. She met her future husband at a neighborhood dance and they married after he returned from his service in the U.S. Army. Betty and Bill moved to rural Rock Falls in1962 and raised their children on the farm, instilling values of hard work and the importance of family. They moved to Rock Falls in 2010. Betty was a devout Catholic and loved children. Her greatest joys were spending time with family, reading and playing cards, especially euchre. She prayed the rosary daily and whenever possible attended daily Mass. She was active at St. Andrew Catholic Church where she was a member of the Altar & Rosary Society and Legion of Mary. She was a devoted pro-life supporter and volunteered for Right to Life and Birthright. In 1994, Betty and Bill began a tradition of a bi-annual family vacation, during which she enjoyed having her children and grandchildren gather for evening meals and playing games.
Memorial contributions may be directed to St. Andrew Church, 708 10th Ave., Rock Falls; St. Andrew School, 701 11th Ave., Rock Falls; or Gianna’s House, 700 10th Ave., Rock Falls.