Elizabeth “Betty” Hasenbalg, 89, of Baraboo, passed away late Monday, Oct. 29, 2018, after a brave battle with her third recurrence of cancer. Throughout her final hours, Betty was surrounded by her immediate family, including her devoted husband of 66 years, Russell Hasenbalg.
Betty was born in Chicago, Illinois, on July 13, 1929, to Thomas and Jeanette Tierney. The Tierney family household was in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago’s westside and included her two sisters, Jeanne and Maureen, her brother, Thomas “Jerry” Tierney, and welcomed any aunt, uncle, cousin or niece who was visiting or needed a temporary home.
She attended St. Peter Canisius Catholic grade school and graduated from Providence Girls High School in 1947. Betty had a large group of girlfriends who enjoyed dances, swapping clothes and hats, taking the streetcar downtown, and good clean fun. One of her best friends and neighbor, Pat Hasenbalg, had a brother named Russell who couldn’t be bothered with any of Pat’s girlfriends. With the exception of the beautiful Betty Tierney. She married Russell Hasenbalg on Jan. 26, 1952, upon his return from the Korean War. Their move to Baraboo happened the summer of 1953 when they purchased Bonnie View Resort at Devil’s Lake State Park from the original proprietors, Russell’s grandparents, Albert and Clarissa Hasenbalg, who built each of the housekeeping cottages. They continued to grow and raise their family while running and maintaining the resort and enjoyed long visits from Russ’ younger sister Babette and Betty’s niece, Lois. Betty was proud of her Irish heritage and was a lifetime member of the official “Die-Hard Chicago Cub Fan.” Betty’s first job was as a switchboard operator at Carson Pirie Scott on State Street in downtown Chicago and after selling Bonnie View Resort and moving into town, she worked at St. Clare Hospital in the obstetrics department and greeted many new babies coming into the world. For nearly 30 years she enjoyed her work with the Byxbe Family.
She was a member of the St. Joseph’s Church, Devil’s Lake Homemakers Club, Elks Club 688, Ladies Bowling League, Ladies Commercial bowling league for more than 50 years, Elks Ladies Thursday Night league, USBC Youth Bowlers and manager and coach for more than 30 years. Betty supported her children’s activities, volunteered at the school, chaperoned class field trips, Brownie and Girl Scout troop outings and carpooled kids to sporting events. Betty’s talents were literally endless spanning the creative and the physical. For years she enjoyed golfing with a group of friends and regular swim aerobics classes and her real talent, bowling. A trait she inherited from her father who had a recorded high game of 299. She won dozens of individual and team trophies and for a time was the matriarch of four generations of active bowling league women. To say she mastered the art of knitting, crocheting — including lace, quilting and sewing was an understatement. Her children often wore hand-sewn matching outfits, the most elaborate Halloween costumes in the neighborhood, had custom birthday cakes and as a surprise Christmas gift one year each received a handmade floor standing, wooden framed mirror with hand-lathe turned legs. Betty generously gave of her time and talents. She was a life member of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars 2336, past president and secretary and life member American Legion 26. For many years she volunteered at the Baraboo voting polls, knit countless Wisconsin Badger, Green Bay Packers-themed Afghans for Easter Seals Camp Wawbeek fundraising events, created bedazzled bingo chips for Elks Club and St. Joseph’s fundraising events. In previous summers she organized flowers for the downtown Baraboo streetlight pole hanging baskets and during the holiday season made certain every window of the Elks Club in the Ringling Mansion included a candle light. Betty created a spirited and fun home for her husband and children and visiting friends and family. Holidays began early for the Hasenbalgs given the outdoor light displays, four themed indoor Christmas trees and more than a dozen themed displays.
Betty was preceded her in death by her parents, Tom and Jeanette Tierney; her brother, retired Air Force Capt. Thomas (Jerry) Tierney; brothers-in-law, Sam Matsukis and Don Jaster; nephews, Jerry Matsukis, Michael Leo and Michael Matsukis; and niece, Victoria (Leo) Doehring.
Betty is survived by her loving husband of 66 years, Russell; and their five children, Cathy (Tom) Zinkie, Kim Hasenbalg, Karen (Mark) Gasser, Tom (Laurie) Hasenbalg, Lisa Hasenbalg (Jef Biesinger) and their special daughter, Lisa Drescher Cassity; her grandchildren, Greg Zinkie, Stephanie (Dan) Beardsley, Blythe (Trevor) Robbins, Shannon (Nathan) Casteel, Stacey (Jon) Peters, Kristen (Ryan) Marheine and Marcus (Lindsey) Montgomery; her 10 great-grandchildren, Miranda Zinkie, Brooke Beardsley, Cole Beardsley, Edwin Robbins, Brianna Peters, Austin Peters, Rylee Marheine, Jordan Marheine, Jaxon Montgomery and Scarlytt Montgomery. She will be missed and fondly remembered by her sisters, Jeanne Matsukis and Maureen Jaster; and sisters-in-law, Pat Leo and Babette DeWitt; and many adoring nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, at St. Joseph Catholic Church with Father Jay Poster officiating. Burial will follow at Walnut Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, at Redlin Funeral Home and from 10 a.m. until the time of service Tuesday at the church.
In lieu of flowers or donations, the family is asking that any gifts be made to a charity of your choice.
Redlin Funeral Home is assisting the family.