Elizabeth Ann “Betsy” Rogotzke, age 78, of Springfield, Minnesota, passed away with family by her side on November 17, 2023, at St. John Lutheran Home in Springfield, Minnesota.
A funeral service will be held at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Springfield on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will be beforehand from 9:00 to 11:00 at the church. The clergy will be Chaplain Noel Wetter and Pastor Carl Billings. Interment will be at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Redwood Falls. Arrangements are with the Sturm Funeral Home in Springfield. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.sturmfh.com.
Betsy was the youngest of four children, born to Porter and Adelia (Schmiesing) Olstad of Hanska, MN. She grew up on a small dairy farm and attended a one-room schoolhouse. She later graduated from New Ulm High School in 1962 and attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls. During those years she met a young Russell Rogotzke from Springfield, and they were married August 28, 1965. Shortly after they were married, Russell was drafted into the Army and stationed in Germany. Betsy joined Russell in Germany and they enjoyed extensive travel throughout Europe during their leisure time. (They referred to this period as their ‘year-long honeymoon.’) After returning to Russell’s family farm in Springfield, they were blessed with four children.
Betsy was a kind and nurturing soul. She loved children and music, so it’s no surprise that her life’s work involved both. She played the organ at St. Paul’s Lutheran church for more than 40 years, directed the children’s choir, and sang in and accompanied the senior choir. She taught piano lessons and accompanied many musicians in the family and community. At home, she was always singing a song as she worked in the garden or on tasks around the house. She supported her children so they could reach their goals and encouraged them to spread their wings and fly. She loved butterflies and rainbows and found contentment in everyday things. As dementia took hold in her later years, it didn’t compromise who she was at her very core. Her kindhearted spirit still shared a friendly smile with strangers and offered encouraging words to those she met. Her legacy is one of kindness.
Betsy is survived by her beloved husband of 58 years, Russell Rogotzke of Springfield; children, Diane (Jeremy) Boutwell of Jasper, GA, Linda (Ray) Peterson of Sioux Falls, SD, Dave (Melanie) Rogotzke of Ames, IA, and Heidi (Jason) Dauffenbach of Madison Lake, MN; grandchildren, Ella Rogotzke, Sawyer Dauffenbach, Levi Dauffenbach; her sister Mary Lee (Ed) Schotzko; and other loving relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; 2 siblings, Charles Olstad and David Olstad; and many aunts and uncles.