Betty Sippel

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Betty Anne Sippel passed away peacefully on June 27, 2013, in Sun City West, Ariz., with her husband, Bill Sippel, at her side. Betty Anne was born in Lewistown, Mont. on Feb. 14, 1925, to Ann Burseth Haeckel and Christopher Adam Haeckel, and lived in Bozeman from 1935 until 1975.
After graduating from Bozeman High School, Betty Anne attended Montana State University. She was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta, and graduated with majors in botany and home economics. MSU is also where she met William Henry Sippel, who in 1950 would become her husband for the next 63 years. They lived briefly in Chicago and Denver, before moving back to Bozeman in 1952. They moved into a new house on South Fifth Avenue, where all four children (Renee, Lauri, Greg and Jeff) grew up and lived until 1975.
Betty Anne was selflessly dedicated to her family and children, and enjoyed many outdoor activities. She went backpacking well into her 50's, and even went salmon fishing in Alaska in her 60's. Although the minority of trips had the luxury of horseback transportation or heated cabins, she embraced them all as readily as she did a game of bridge or a crossword puzzle. She was also a dependable skiing companion, and gracefully made her last turn at age 72.
Meals at the Sippel household arose from a never-ending stream of creative and unique recipes, and were served with grace and aplomb. How could a mother in the '60s, '70s, and '80s dream up cooking made-from-scratch things like dolmathes, tortillas, braised tongue, lefsa, raised waffles, Mexican dip, rhubarb cream pie, grasshopper roll, Yorkshire pudding, escargot, shrimp deJonghe, plum duff, tempura, fondue, and dozens of other dishes native to nowhere in Montana? It was deep within her Norwegian heritage to provide good meals, and in her motherly temperament to share such a culinary gift with her family. Betty Anne also enjoyed fabric arts, and crafted many outfits for herself and her children over the years, as well as for friends in the community. Two of her hand tailored coats won awards at the Montana State Fair. Quilting, Chair Caning, creating seasonal decorations, and hand made gifts were also a joy for her.
Betty Anne and Bill spent their summers and falls from 1989 to 2010 traveling in their motor home. They were volunteer rangers for 11 of these years, and spent time at many different national parks and monuments, including Glacier and Yellowstone. Betty Anne's lifetime of other volunteer commitments included The American Red Cross, West Side Food Bank, Alpha Gamma Delta advisor, and Phoenix Zoo docent.
Betty Anne left an indelible legacy on this earth, embodying such traits as selflessness, putting others first, and always being present. These have proven to be durable traits, and are already visible in her grandchildren. Betty Anne will be remembered and missed by her husband, Bill; daughters, Renee (husband, David) and Lauri; sons, Greg (wife, Lyndell) and Jeff (wife, Meg); grandchildren, Brian, Mark, Mari, and Meredith, and great-grandchildren, Kenny and Lillian. She will also be missed by her sister, Pat (husband, Jack Frederickson); brother, Jerry (late wife, Joey), and nephews, Paul Frederickson (wife, Martha), John, Stephen (wife, Jean), and the late Peter Haeckel.
There will be a service at St. James Episcopal Church on Nov. 2 at 11 a.m. to honor her life and passing.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Oct. 27, 2013