Betty Jean (Halvorson) Caspar passed quietly away on Saturday, October 21 at the Episcopal Home in St Paul, Minnesota. She was 99 years old. She was preceded by her husband, Ted, and is survived by her 4 children, Tom, David, Ann and Jim, 9 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.
Born and raised in the Minneapolis area, Betty was known as a quiet, yet energetic young child. Called “carrot top” by her friends due to her freckles, she was involved in a wide range of church and school activities, becoming the first women student body president of St Olaf College, which she attended from 1942-1946. Following her graduation, she was selected to attend the World Students Christian Federation conference in Geneva, Switzerland which provided her the opportunity to travel and witness post war Europe, including occupied Germany, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, England, and Norway. Returning home, she moved to New York City for training as a student counselor, where she met her future husband, Ted. They were married in 1948.
In the 1960s, the couple with their four young children moved to College Park, Md where Ted became pastor of Hope Lutheran Church. With the kids in high school, Betty decided to return to a professional career, receiving her master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland in 1972. As part of her returning to school, Ted agreed to assume kitchen responsibilities; he was deemed by the family as the better cook and never lost his role as head family chef.
Betty’s work included staff positions at the Lutheran Home in Washington DC, Rutland Heights Hospital in Massachusetts, and Fairview Southdale Hospital in Minnesota, where they moved upon Ted’s retirement in 1988. During those years, she was active in counseling juvenile delinquents, establishing an Adult Day Care and Respite care program in Rutland and co-founding Work Opportunities for Women, a program designed to encourage mature women to return to school. She was passionate about women and civil rights issues, spending much of her time in the Washington area involved in demonstrations and marches supporting both causes. In her later years, she developed an intense interest in dried flowers and decorations, becoming an active member (along with her husband) in the University of Minnesota Arboretum Auxiliary.
A celebration of life service will be held at St. Peder’s church, 4600 East 42nd St. Mpls at 10:00 a.m.on Dec.16th.
Betty will be remembered as one who was always in perpetual motion, be it at work, at home, or in her various volunteer roles. She was devoted to her family and her Norwegian heritage, having had several opportunities to travel to Norway to visit her sister Gayle. As a woman, friend, wife, mother, grandmother or great grandmother, she always left a deep and warm impression. She will be missed, but surely never forgotten.