Betty Jane Petersen-Neumann

Lansing, Michigan

Beloved wife, teacher, friend, and foster mother, went to be with the Lord on April 18, 2016.  Mrs. Neumann was born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, on April 18, 1925, to J. Walter Petersen and Jessie A. Frost Petersen.  She attended the Lansing Public Schools and was a 1943 graduate of Everett High School.  She was a student at the Henry Ford School of Nursing, Detroit, Michigan; the National College of Education, Evanston, Illinois; and earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees in Early Childhood Growth and Development, Special Education for the Blind, and other special education certifications from Michigan State University.

She taught in the public schools of Lakewood, Colorado, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, before joining the staff of the Michigan School for the Blind in Lansing where she completed thirty-three years as Nursery-school/Kindergarten teacher and Teacher Coordinator of the Ungraded Secondary Center for Severely Multiply Impaired Young Adults.  During the 1950s, she taught Special Education classes at Michigan State University for teachers of the blind.  She retired from the Michigan School for the Blind in 1984.

Mrs. Neumann was a member of South Church.  She was a Life Deaconess and a member of the Missionary Work Circle.  She was a volunteer at Ingham Medical Center (McLaren-Greater Lansing) for many years and volunteered at the Michigan School for the Blind and the Haslett Foster Care Home after retirement.  She was a member of the North Sidney Church and Cemetery Historical Association, the American Council of the Blind and Michigan Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired.  She was a member of several other professional associations during her teaching career.  Her retirement years were spent in traveling with her husband and friends, participating in church activities, sewing, quilting, reading, and in helping others.  She was honored by WKAR in 2005 for her staunch support of the station’s Radio Reading Service.

 Mrs. Neumann was predeceased by her beloved husband, Frederic T. Neumann on January 13, 1999.  Mr. Neumann was a teacher and scholar and they shared many interests.  When her husband passed away, a part of her life also passed away.  She was predeceased by her parents, and dear brother Donald J. Petersen of Cleveland, Ohio.  She is survived by four special cousins, Marcelene (Robert) Derhammer of Lansing, Elmer Frost of Lakeland, Florida, Judy (Robert) Griggs of Tomball, Texas, and Georgina (Henry) Hartwell of Muskegon; several other cousins and one nephew; and special friends, Maxine, John, Ronald, Carl and Rose Marie, and the Breakfast Beauties.  She is also survived by two foster children, Norma (Bill) Bowser of Mt. Morris, MI, and R. Tom (Juanita) Baker of Adrian, MI, and their families.

The funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, April 22, 2016, at South Church, 5250 Cornerstone Dr., Lansing. Interment will follow at Evergreen Cemetery, Lansing.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the funeral service at the church.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to South Church or WKAR – Radio Reading Service, Michigan State University, 404 Wilson Rd. #212, East Lansing, MI 48824.

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Michelle Bowser-Buford
April 20, 2016 at 7:49 pm

Heaven has gained a angel. I will always remember the special visits when I was a child. You and my father will have plenty to talk about in heaven. Rest in peace sweet grandma Betty.


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