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Elizabeth Spata

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Elizabeth Spata Obituary
Elizabeth J. "Betty" Spata


Betty was born October 21, 1922 in Ypsilanti, Michigan to Helen and Raymond Lawrence.  She completed her earthly journey May 20, 2014 at the age of 91.  After graduating from Michigan State Normal College (Eastern Michigan University), she married Paul J. Spata Jr. and moved to Lansing where they lovingly raised 8 children. Betty taught high school Latin, Greek and Mathematics in Romulus, Michigan. She substituted for the Lansing School District and taught Mathematics at Waverly Middle School. She sang in her church choir for more than 50 years, participated in community theatre, volunteered at WKAR, participated in the production of Yesterday's Youngsters, coordinated the MSU International Students Speaker's Bureau, supported local community theater, volunteered as a girl scout leader, coordinated Meals-on Wheels and participated actively with The University United Methodist Church until her last few years. She enjoyed listening to music, Talking Books and the WKAR Radio Reading Service. She was preceded in death by her parents, her loving husband, Paul Spata Jr in 1976, granddaughter April Spata, and great-grandson, Henry Brodeur.

She is survived by her brother, John Lawrence, her children: Paul Spata (Sue London), Patricia (Richard) Kelley, Anthony (Loretta)Spata, Ann-Marie Spata (Kevin Hughes), Peter Spata, Andrea (Richard) Spata-Merrill, Nicolette (Craig) Straley, and Stephen (Sue) Spata, and her grandchildren and great- grandchildren: Courtney Sowle, Fredrick (Lisa) Brodeur, Frank, Evelyn, Audrey, Dennis (Michelle) Brodeur , Jack, Abby, Ella, Joseph (Rosie) Brodeur , Hanna, Madison, Joseph, Dominic, Anthony Brodeur (Carlie Bertrand), Tate, Mia, Poppy, Luna, Max, Paul Lawrence Spata, Mara (Robert) McGrath,  Cowyn, Liam, Fynn, Jon (Mahriescel) Kelley, Natalie (David) Tonn, Dylan Hughes (Minami Fukuda), Ian Hughes, Chelsea (Kyle) Schafer, Nolan, Amelia Evelyn, Elizabeth Straley, Eric Straley, Nicholas Spata, Grace Spata. She also has many nieces and nephews who enriched her life.

Her family is thankful to her friends, neighbors (who always cleared her sidewalks), health care professionals, Wynwood staff, Hospice Advantage, Meals-on-Wheels volunteers and fellow residents for supporting her in her quest to live a full and independent life.

A memorial service at University United Methodist Church, 1120 S. Harrison, East Lansing is pending for June 28, 2014.  In lieu of flowers, those desiring may make contributions to: WKAR Radio Reading Service, 404 Wilson Rd, Room 212, Communication Arts and Science Bldg, MSU, East Lansing, MI 48823 Meals-on-Wheels, 5303 S. Cedar St, Lansing, MI 48911, and The University United Methodist Church-in memory of Betty Spata.  The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Lansing Chapel.   On line condolences or memories of Betty may be shared with the family at www.greastlansing.com.

Published in Lansing State Journal on May 23, 2014
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