Elizabeth VanDerbeck, of Niles

Published 9:02 am Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Dec. 27, 1926 — April 25, 2015

Elizabeth Marie “Betty” VanDerbeck, 88, of Niles, Michigan died on Saturday, April 25, 2015, at Hanson Hospice Center in Stevensville. She was born Dec. 27, 1926 in Niles to Marshall and Eva (Rayfuse) Grathwohl.

Elizabeth VanDerbeck

Elizabeth VanDerbeck

Betty graduated from Niles High School in 1944 and attended the University of Michigan and Western University to obtain her teaching credentials. She taught the ESL program in South Bend schools and taught elementary school in Grand Rapids, Dowagiac, and Niles. Betty was a member of Saint Mary Catholic Church in Niles and would volunteer her help with Meals on Wheels, church luncheons or where ever she was needed.

On July 29, 1950, at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Niles, Betty married William H. VanDerbeck, with whom she celebrated their 53th wedding anniversary before his death on June 17, 2004. She was also preceded in death by two brothers, Joseph Grathwohl, and Rev. John Grathwohl; one sister, Margaret Bohner; and daughter-in-law, Ramona VanDerbeck.

Surviving family includes four sons, William VanDerbeck of Louisville, Kentucky, Hon. James Scott (Sara) VanDerbeck of LaGrange, Indiana, Robert T. VanDerbeck and Michael John VanDerbeck, both of Niles; six grandchildren, Kawain Broadus and Marcus VanDerbeck, both of Louisville, Amy (Tom) Roose of Wolcottville, Indiana, Kate (Ryan) Clark of Noblesville, Indiana, Anna VanDerbeck, of Berrien Springs, Michigan and Josh (Mandy) of Eau Claire, Michigan; 11 great-grandchildren and one more expected any day. Also surviving are Betty’s siblings, MaryAnn Drury of Traverse City, Michigan and Victor (Bettye) Grathwohl of South Haven, Michigan; a sister-in-law, Mary Lou (Mrs. Joseph) Grathwohl; and a close friend, Ben.

The Mass of Christian Burial for Betty VanDerbeck will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, at Saint Mary Catholic Church by The Rev. Alphonse Savarimuthu, MSFS, of the parish and concelebrated by Father Bob Flickinger of Saint Basil Catholic Church, South Haven, Michigan and assisted by Deacon Roger Gregorski. Committal Rites will be at Calvary Cemetery, Niles.

The family will receive relatives and friends at the church on Wednesday from 9 a.m. until the time of the Mass with recitation of The Rosary at 9:15 a.m.

Donations in memory of Betty may be made to either Saint Mary Catholic Church, Niles or Hanson Hospice Center, Stevensville.

Arrangements were made at the Halbritter Funeral Home, Niles, Michigan.