ELIZABETH ANN IWASKI GERDIN Elizabeth Ann Iwaski Gerdin (Bettye) passed away on July 12, 2013. She fought a long and courageous battle against the ravages of Parkinson's disease. She is survived by her loving husband of 68 years, Rudolph. Bettye was an outstanding housewife and mother, who encouraged her children, Andrew and Lynda, to reach beyond high school and to obtain a college education and to return to society their gifts of knowledge and social responsibility. Bettye lived a rich and full life, traveling across the country in an Airstream trailer, skiing in New Mexico and Colorado, camping in the Gila Wilderness, and spending special vacations in Hawaii. Through the years, Bettye served as a Girl Scout Leader, a Chamber of Commerce liaison at the El Paso Airport, and as a tireless volunteer for PTA and the Irvin Band. The Gerdin house was the place to hang for Lynda and Andy's friends. Bettye made everyone feel welcome and had the great gift of gab. She was the confidant of the women of the neighborhood, and a friend to those in need. Bettye could dance like Ginger Rogers, name every New Mexico wild flower, and keep a secret forever. She lived a life full of adventures with her husband Rudolph. Their courtship and marriage are legendary. Rudolph spotted Bettye playing tennis when he was studying at the University of New Mexico. They courted, married and stayed friends and lovers for 68 years. Bettye was a mother, a friend, a sister and a daughter. She is preceded in death by her parents, Gladys and Edward Iwaski. She is survived by her sister, Martha Kay Iwaski; her son, Andrew Arvid Gerdin and his wife Lori; her daughter, Lynda Gerdin Webb and her husband Robert; two granddaughters, Maja and Signe Gerdin; and three grandsons, Thomas, Alexander and Nathaniel Webb. Bettye leaves a void in our lives but we fill each day with the great memories of her life with us. A memorial service will be held for Bettye in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the National Cemetery.
Published in Santa Fe New Mexican from July 26 to July 28, 2013