Mary Elizabeth 'Betty' Kaiser
March 27, 1930 - March 14, 2023
Date and Time
Friday, April 21, 2023 at 11:00 AM
The Presbyterian Homes
3200 Grant Street
Evanston, Illinois 60201
Chaplain Denise Johnson
Interment - Private
A celebration of Betty’s life will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, April 21, 2023. Friends and family will gather in The Frank R. Elliot Chapel on Arbor Lane within the grounds of The Presbyterian Homes, 3200 Grant Street, Evanston, Illinois. Parking is located on the western edge of the campus along Trinity Court. Light refreshments will be served following the celebration.
To view the obituary on Legacy.com, please visit:
Waukegan Historical Society
1917 North Sheridan Road
Waukegan, Illinois 60087
The Waukegan Public Library Foundation
128 North County Street
Waukegan, Illinois 60085
Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Tanner Kaiser, age 92.
Beloved wife of the late Paul W. Kaiser, Jr. Loving mother of Susan E. Kaiser (Frank LeBeau, partner) St. Louis, MO; Steven P. (Elena) Kaiser, Evanston, IL; and William T. Kaiser, Chicago, IL. Proud grandmother of David and Daniel Koslovsky, and Jacob, Ariela and Mikaela Kaiser.
Born and raised in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, Betty was the adored daughter of Clara and Raymond Tanner. She grew up amidst a loving extended family, which enjoyed gatherings at Cedar Lake, Wisconsin and Door County excursions aboard her father’s boat, the Siesta II.
Betty attended Northwestern University and pledged Kappa Alpha Theta. Following graduation, Betty taught school for a year in Seattle, Washington. Upon her return to the Midwest, childhood friend, Jackson Horton, recently married to Nancy Kaiser Horton, introduced Betty to his brother-in-law, Paul Kaiser, Jr. Following a short courtship, Betty and Paul were married at the Blue Mound Country Club in Wauwatosa, where the wedding bouquet Betty tossed was caught by her cousin, David Ketchum’s “Plus One,” a then unknown comedian, Carol Burnett!
Betty and Paul made their home in Waukegan, Illinois, where they raised their three children, Susan, Steven, and William. She enjoyed warm relationships with her in-laws, Paul W. Kaiser, Sr. and Margaret Beagle Kaiser. Betty was a beloved elementary school teacher who taught hundreds of children not only the “three Rs” but also imparted in the them a deep sense of their own self-worth and a respect for their fellow students. Books were Betty’s favorite gifts to give and receive.
Betty was an active member of the Waukegan community involved in the American Association of University Women, American Friend’s Service, First Methodist Church, Daughters of the American Revolution, First Methodist Church, P.E.O., Young Women’s Christian Association, and Friends of the Waukegan Public Library. In her early years, she also served as a Brownie and Girl Scout troop leader; scouts still remember the trip she led to Mark Twain’s home in Hannibal, Missouri. Betty’s involvement with AFS culminated in the Kaiser family hosting for one year of high school French exchange student, Jaqueline Bourdet.
“Into each life some rain must fall,” and rain did fall into Betty’s life. In 1977, her youngest son, Bill, was diagnosed with schizophrenia. By 1978, Betty and Paul had placed Bill for treatment in McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. For the next four years, Betty and Paul traveled each month to Boston to participate in Bill’s therapy. In later years, Bill and Betty connected on long walks in Lyons Woods.
Over the course of her life, Betty made many friends and maintained countless close friendships. She closed out her final decade as an involved resident of the Presbyterian Homes in Evanston, Illinois, enjoying Short Story Group, Songs by Heart, and attending services at the Elliott Chapel. Those who knew Betty remember her warm smile and bright laughter. Her parting remark was often, “See you later, Kiddo!”
Interment will be private at Northshore Garden of Memories.
Memorials in her memory to Waukegan Historical Society, 1917 N. Sheridan Road, Waukegan, Illinois 60087, www.waukeganhistorical.org or the Waukegan Public Library Foundation, 128 N. County Street, Waukegan, IL 60085, www.waukeganpl.org/about/waukegan-public-library-foundation/.
Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals – Skokie Chapel, 847.229.8822, www.cjfinfo.com