Maribeth "Gigi" Anne "Betsy" Wilfer
1959 - 2021
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Maribeth "Betsy" "Gigi" Anne Wilfer

Appleton - Betsy A. Wilfer, age 61, passed away on Monday, January 11th, with her husband, Paul of 35 years by her side after her courageous battle with cancer. Her constant strength and bravery teamed with her bright smile, love to serve and above all, loving spirit impacted everyone around her.

Betsy was born to Jerome and Mary Berenz in 1959 and grew up on Fox Lake with her 5 brothers and sisters. After high school she moved to Appleton where she met and married her best friend on May 31, 1985. Together they moved to Phoenix, where their daughter was born and she grew to love the desert and mountains of Arizona. In 1989, Betsy and family moved to Beaver Dam, Wisconsin and grew their family again with the birth of their son. After two years they relocated to Appleton where she has resided ever since.

Betsy's strong work ethic and love for people drew her to the service and retail industry. She worked a variety of positions, often more than one at a time including a school lunch mom, retail worker, freelance house cleaner and waitress for 35 years. Twenty of these were spent at George's Steakhouse which was more than a workplace but a beloved extended family.

Being a mother and grandmother was the greatest joy of her life, anyone who knows Betsy will know she loved to share stories and photos of her precious grands! Gigi loved snuggling her grandchildren, sharing her love of books, puzzles and chocolate chip cookies. Traveling, gardening, and socializing with friends were some of her favorite activites. Her passion for giving to others was felt by all who loved her, we all will remember her strong hugs, big smiles and booming laugh.

Betsy is survived by her husband, Paul; daughter Ashley (Travis) McDonough of Appleton, son Ben of Eau Claire; 6 grandchildren, Wesley, Stella and Miles Wilfer; Brooke, Lily and Marin McDonough; Brother Bill (Vikki) Berenz of Delafield; sister, Maura (Sheldon) Boomsma of Kingsland, GA; brother, John Berenz of Appleton; and brother, Jerry Berenz of Dubuque. Betsy was preceded in death by her father and mother Jerome and Mary Berenz, and her brother, Dennis Berenz.

There will be a public funeral service for Betsy held at Christ the Rock Church in Menasha on Saturday, January 23 at 4:00. Due to Covid-19 the service will also be live streamed and recorded, link available on Betsy's obituary page at

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Betsy's name will be directed to Samaritan's Purse, one of Betsy's favorite charities - link can be found on the obituary page.

Betsy will be deeply missed and her loving spirit, quick wit and strong embrace will live on in all who loved her.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Appleton Post-Crescent from Jan. 16 to Jan. 17, 2021.
Funeral service
04:00 PM
Christ the Rock Church
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Wichmann-Downtown Appleton Funeral Home
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9 entries
January 23, 2021
The Hardwick family would like to extend our condolences to Betsy's Family. She was such a warm and sweet woman and was always so welcoming to our family when we saw her. Betsy was always so proud whenever her grandkids had their friends over for birthday parties and play days in Ashley and Travis' backyard. She loved to watch all of those kids playing together and seeing her kids and their friends grow up to adulthood. She was a true shining star and such an amazing woman who always took the time to ask how we are doing and follow up on events from the last time we saw her. You will be missed greatly by those that knew you, Betsy. Thank you for always welcoming our family to celebrate with your family and for being such a loving woman. May you rest in peace and watch over your family.
Meagan and Joseph Hardwick
January 22, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. We are all thinking of you and your family, Ashley and Travis. Our heartfelt sympathies,
Ann and Greg Paton and family
Ann Paton
January 19, 2021
I'm so sorry, Paul.
Betsy will live on in my heart. Her laugh and wonderful smile was contagious. She was a good friend to me and simply can not be replaced.
She was loving and brave. A fighter all the way. She will be missed terribly.
My heart goes out to you and your family.
Always your friends,
Mary Sue & Jim Kuske.
mary kuske
January 19, 2021
I am so sorry for your loss. Although we haven't seen each other in a long time I will remember the good times we had when we were together with Betsy and yourself. Her smile and laugh will be forever etched in my memories. Mark Ponschock
January 19, 2021
So sorry to hear about Betsy. Truly a wonderful person. Many a laugh was had with her. Our thoughts are with you.
Cindy and Mike Maxam
Cindy Maxam
January 18, 2021
So very sorry to hear of your mom’s passing Ashley. Sending our love your way.
Sloane Family
January 18, 2021
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief. So very sorry for your loss.
Sloane Family
January 17, 2021
Paul my thoughts are with you and your family at this time of loss. Betsy will be truly missed by all who new her.
Betsy Nabbefeld
January 17, 2021
I am so sorry for your loss. She did have a wonderful smile, which I recognized immediately from meeting her years ago (Thanksgiving?). She was friendly and had an inviting personality. Safe travels everyone during this difficult time in our nations, as you get to say your final good bye, but you will always have those memories in your heart and mind. Love to you all, Kim, John, Carly and Ryan
Kim Lowman Vollmer
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