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Fort Thomas, KY 41075
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Elizabeth Votruba

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Elizabeth Votruba Obituary


Elizabeth M. "Betty" Votruba passed away peacefully on July 5, 2014, her one hundredth year. She was preceded in death by her husband, James F. Votruba, and their daughter, Mary Lou Votruba. She is survived by her son, James C. Vortuba, daughter-in-law, Rachel M. Votruba, and grandchildren, James C. Votruba (Heather), Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal (Peter), and Emily Votruba. Great grandchildren include Anthony Votruba, Lilly Skrip, James Votruba-Drzal, Nicholas Votruba, Thomas Votruba-Drzal, and Dominic Porter. Surviving nieces include Susan Storm, Judy Smith, Betty Ann Suriano, Mary Jane McCaffery, and Jeane O'Callaghan. She is also survived by her dear friends Maxine and Jake Ferris. Born December 18, 1914, Betty Votruba's life spanned most of the 20th Century. She was the first in her family to attend college and while at Michigan State University, met her husband, Jim, also a first generation college student. She earned a BA in social work and later returned to MSU as an adult learner to earn an MS in counseling. She was a social worker early in her career and later served as a counselor at St. John's Student Center in East Lansing, Michigan. She and her husband were active supporters of Michigan State University where she served as a docent at the MSU Museum. She was an antique collector, a landscape artist, and an avid student of early American history. She was also a lifelong advocate for equality of opportunity, social justice, and education as the primary pathway for both individual and social progress. She was a liberal Democratic social worker who fashioned a deeply rich and loving life with her husband, a traditional Republican businessman. It would be an understatement to say that, over forty-six year marriage, each broadened the other's perspective. Betty Votruba often spoke on behalf of those who have no voice. A convert to Roman Catholicism, She was a person of deep faith who called on her church to embrace reforms that she felt more closely reflected the spirit of the gospels. She was strong and resilient, optimistic and hopeful, caring and compassionate, a great listener, and she possessed an inordinate capacity to both love and be loved. In life, attitude matters. At age ninety, with diminished sight, hearing, and mobility, she wrote in her memoir, "Some people in our culture would say that I am in the winter of my life. But I don't agree. I have the love and support of my family and friend. So, I feel more like I'm in the spring, when all the earth is renewing itself and nature is alive and fresh, budding and blossoming with new hope. And I am here to enjoy all the love and beauty around me." This is how she will be remembered. Visitation will be held on Wednesday July 9th 2014, at the Muehlenkamp-Erschell Funeral Home, Ft. Thomas, Kentucky, from 5pm until 7pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. John's Church, East Lansing, Michigan, at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Rachel Votruba Scholarship at NKU Foundation Inc., Lucas Admin Center, Room 239, Highland Heights, KY. 41099. Online Condolences may be sent to

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Published in the Kentucky Enquirer on July 7, 2014
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