Age 79, of Lansing, passed away January 2, 2013 in Lansing, Michigan. She was born September 28, 1933 in Lansing, where she was a lifelong resident and a graduate of Eastern High School. Betty married her high school sweetheart, James Koessel, from crosstown rival Sexton High School, on June 21, 1952. They have three sons, Greg (Lansing), Mike (New York City), and Matthew (Millbrook, Alabama).
Betty was known to almost everyone by her nickname, “The Bomber.” While initially descriptive of her snow skiing technique (or lack thereof), the name stuck because it evoked her tremendous energy, boundless love for life and people, and ability to connect with everyone she met. Betty loved travel, shopping, Michigan State sports, decorating her home, especially for the holidays, and Kewpees.
Betty and her husband Jim especially treasured winter trips to their home in Destin, Florida, where they would visit with their Alabama-based son Matthew’s family. Special annual events for “The Bomber” also featured trips to visit her son Mike in New York City, either for shopping and theater, or for Thanksgiving festivities, or to spend time relaxing with him at his Fire Island Beach house. Everywhere she went Betty was the “Belle of the Ball” who shared the gift of her friendship with people from all walks of life. Over the years, she devoted time, energy and love into caring for friends in need, and her friends responded with endless support for her, especially in the last few years as she struggled to live with serious heart disease.
Primarily a housewife and mother as she raised her children, Betty later held a number of jobs outside the home, including work at the Convention Bureau. With her bubbling personality and contagious enthusiasm she especially prized her years working at Kositcheks, and became part of their family as well. For much of her adult life, Betty was an active member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church on Mt Hope. She was a unique and exuberant parent and grandmother, and doted on her great-granddaughter Skylee Rose. Most of all, she was a loving partner to her husband of over sixty years, James Koessel, who adores her.
Betty was preceded in death by her brother, Charles Lundberg (1986), her father Roy Lundberg (2004), her mother, Gertrude Lundberg (2012), and by her dear lifelong friend and soul mate, Norma Killila (2005). Together, Norma and The Bomber lived by the rule that the only things worthy of regret in life are the things that you did not do.
In addition to her husband James and her sons, mentioned above, Betty is survived by her grandchildren Katie Beth Koessel (Chicago); Bethany Stewart and her daughter, Skylee Rose (Millbrook); Danielle Koessel (Fenton, MI), and Nick (Waterford, MI); and by her brother Keith (Holt) and sister Janice Hause (Holt).
Her family and friends mourn her loss, will never forget her infectious zest for life or her generous affection for all, and will miss her tremendously, always.
The family will receive friends at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel on Sunday, January 6, from 2-4 pm and from 6-8 PM. A celebration of her life will be held at Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 549 E. Mt. Hope Ave. on Monday, January 7, at 11 AM, with interment in Deepdale Memorial Gardens. Memorial donations may be made in Betty’s honor to Bethlehem Ev. Lutheran Church.