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Betty Bergstrom

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Betty Bergstrom Obituary
Betty Howard Bergstrom, elected official, non-profit executive and advocate for women and children died Saturday, February 24, 2018, at her home in Chicago. Betty was born March 15, 1931, in Chicago IL to father Seward Guinter and mother Agnes Uek Guinter. She attended Chicago public schools and then Northwestern University. Betty married Raymond Howard, whom she met at Northwestern, and they had four children: Bryan (1961), Cheryl (1962), David (1964) and Jeffrey (1967). Betty and Ray separated in 1974 and Betty then married Chicago anti-trust lawyer Robert W Bergstrom in 1979. Bob had two sons, Mark and Philip. Betty was active in business and civic affairs throughout her life. After university she entered public relations at Chicago's WLS radio station and PR agencies. In 1969 Illinois voters elected her one of 116 delegates who authored the current Illinois Constitution. At "ConCon" she focused on public education and successfully opposed a ban on abortion. In 1976 she was appointed Vice President of the Chicago Horticultural Society's Botanic Garden in Glencoe IL. During her 14-year tenure she raised $85 million for gardens and facilities. In 1978 Betty joined what is known today as the Association of Fundraising Professionals and quickly became a tireless advocate focused on government regulation, professional ethics and mentorship. Her efforts were recognized with the organization's Founders Award in 2011. Betty established a national consultancy in 1990 through which she strengthened clients fundraising strategy. She also at different times was founding Executive Director of the Arizona Foundation for Women and Board Chair of the National Women's History Museum in Washington DC. In the 2000s Betty stepped up engagement with Chicago's Fourth Presbyterian Church where she'd worshiped beginning in the 1950s. She was ordained a deacon and chaired the Board of Chicago Lights, the church's social services arm. She also held leadership roles at the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia PA and at the Fortnightly of Chicagowomen's club. One of Betty's last endeavors was to lead the Residents' Council of The Claresenior community. When The Clare went through financial reorganization, Betty chaired the Creditors Committee which safeguarded the reserves held for residents. She also established a charitable foundation to advance The Clare's employees. Betty is survived by her children Bryan Howard (husband Brad Daughtry), Cheryl Lothian (husband John) and Jeffrey Bergstrom (partner Sarah Rudolph). Cheryl and John brought Betty three grandchildren - Timothy, Katherine and Robert. Betty was preceded in death by her brother Robert Guinter, husband Robert Bergstrom, son David Howard and stepsons Mark and Philip Bergstrom. A celebration of Betty's life will be held at Fourth Presbyterian Church, located at Michigan Avenue and Delaware Place in Chicago, on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 10:00 AM. A luncheon will follow. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, Betty's friends consider donating to the National Women's History Museum in Washington DC or Chicago Lights at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. For further info please call 312-421-0936 or sign guestbook at www.michalikfuneralhome.com.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Mar. 4, 2018
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