Cover photo for Betty Nekich's Obituary
Betty Nekich Profile Photo

Betty Nekich

d. July 29, 2017

Betty A. (Plesha) Nekich, age 87, died peacefully in her home surrounded by her daughters, on July 29, 2017 in Mesa, AZ. She was born and raised in Gilbert, MN where her father and brothers owned and operated the Gilbert Bar. In 1948 she married Angelo J. Pacifico and moved to Fairbanks, Alaska. Her experience there was the beginning of her love for travel and adventure. She and Angelo later moved to Edina, MN where their first child Cheryl was born. Angelo died at age 26 in a hotel fire while working in Crookston, MN. Cheryl was 18 months old and Betty was expecting their second daughter Gayle. She then moved back to Gilbert to be closer to her family. In 1955 Betty married Carl (Carlo) Nekich, and Donna was born 2 years later. Their family became complete when Carlo adopted Cheryl and Gayle as his own. For many years, Betty enjoyed working outside the home in retail, business and finance for the City of Gilbert, St. Louis County, the State of Minnesota and the U.S. Government. In 1974, she was selected to be the Executive Director of the Gilbert Housing Authority. She strived to make housing available to those who could not afford homes and managed Broadview Manor where the elderly and disabled receive affordable, safe and comfortable housing. Betty traveled throughout the United States each year to keep current on the latest federal regulations and how they could benefit Gilbert. Because of her success, she was invited to Washington DC and awarded a commendation for high performance in housing management. Betty loved her social time, especially her ‘card club’ with her girlfriends. To this day, her daughters speak of the incessant laughter that kept them awake many nights! They now understand that this laughter represented friendship, and the special bond that these women shared. Betty was an active person who among other sports, enjoyed curling where she was a successful skip for many years and enjoyed playing in bonspiels. In 1989, Carlo died at the age of 62 after a 3-year battle with lung cancer. Nine years later, Betty’s adventurous spirit called her to escape the cold Minnesota winter months and head to sunny Mesa AZ. She also continued to enjoy traveling the world with her daughters and friends. At age 70, Betty retired from the Gilbert Housing Authority and moved permanently to Arizona. She continued traveling, loved swimming, golfing, billiards, playing cards, meeting new people and living life to the fullest. Her good friend and companion Omar St. Lawrence became a ‘snow bird’, and enjoyed the Arizona sunshine with her for many happy years. Her positive attitude, ability to rise above life's challenges, strength, resilience and respected work ethic made her a remarkable woman and role model for her girls. In short, Betty taught them to love life. She will be forever remembered by her daughters Cheryl Bowers of California, Gayle (John) Womack of Washington, and Donna (Jeff) Sauter of Wisconsin; her grandchildren, Brian Bowers, the triplets: Tara Bechtold, Laura and Paula Bowers, Logan, Aleah and Casey Sauter; her great-grandchildren Adysen Bechtold and Bryn Bowers. Betty was proceeded in death by her parents Nicholas and Katherine Plesha; the loves of her life: Angelo Pacifico and Carl Nekich; her sister Mary Olivanti, brothers: George, Michael (Flat), Anthony (Sparrow), Joseph, Nicholas, and William. A memorial service will be officiated by Father Perkovich at the Ziemer- Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Gilbert on September 22, 2017 at 11:00am.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, September 22, 2017

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home-Gilbert

108 Broadway, Gilbert, MN 55741

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