Betty Louise (Lundberg) Koessel

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.

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20 Messages to “Betty Louise (Lundberg) Koessel

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craig corey
January 3, 2013 at 9:49 am

Betty worked for me at my travel agency, Craig Corey Travel Service, back in the 1990’s. The office was very busy and we needed extra help on the phones, so she came in to help out as a receptionist, and was an enjoyable addition to the staff. On her first day on the job however, she answered the phone and said “Classic Travel, may I direct your call?” Under normal circumstances I would have been in a a tither, but instead I laughed it off. Betty was a hoot to have around, and she was very kind. We will miss her. -Craig Stevens Corey.

Mike Koessel
January 3, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Thanks Craig. Yes, her phone answering skills were somewhat challenged, but pretty adorable. My understanding is that she answered the phones at kositcheks once with “Kositcheks, how may I love you?”

Sandra S Mosley
January 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Betty was a dear friend. Unique in every way. More purses and shoes than any one I have ever known I always looked for her when I was at Blue Surf knowing I would have a perfect fun time doing whatever. She is the only person I know whom was loved by every one whose life she touched. She just could never do enough for anyone. I loved the above with her answering the phone skills. Really, I am sure she even meant “How may I love you” !!! Heaven will never be the same with Betty and Norma there together…..It will be better!!

Jan Lieberman
January 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm

I meant Betty in Destin, FL, where she and Jim owned a townhouse. I will never forget Betty’s effervescent personality. The minute she came onto the property, she would feather “her nest”, then she would go about visiting the guests at the pool, the other owners that were there, at the time, and me, the manager of the property. Promoting good will was what she did best, all the while making it look like she was having the time of her life.

Heaven’s gate has opened to her and now heaven will never be the same. Lots of joy and laughter going on there. I’m quite sure she’s got the angle’s in stitches. Wouldn’t surprise me at all.

I’ll miss her…….

Tad Read
January 3, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Betty’s warmth was matched only by her irreverent and off color humor, which always drew me in and made me feel at ease. She translated the love she had for her son to her son’s friends—at least, that’s how it felt to me. I felt immediately accepted by her—a rare gift. It’s clear where Mike gets his knack for making and keeping such a diverse group of friends. It is somehow reassuring to know that her infectious spirit and zest for life will live on in Mike, Jimbo and many others who knew and loved her.

Roger & Pat Karau
January 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm

We will miss this dear lady deeply. As snowbirds who rented the townhome next to their unit 4 for the past 5 years in Miramar Beach,Fl she will be someone we will never forget.

Roger & Pat Karau

Kelly McNair
January 4, 2013 at 8:51 am

We are sorry to hear the news of Aunt Betty passing – she is now in heaven with no pain and all of her energy back in tact the way we remember her! We enjoyed our visits with Aunt Betty and Uncle Jim every year in Florida, and of course during the many family gatherings through the years. Aunt Betty made the trip here to my house in 2012 for a baby shower, no matter how she felt she was ALWAYS on the go! You always knew when Aunt Betty arrived – her laughter and voice would fill the room! My two children just loved Aunt Betty, and I so appreciate the times she would send me letters related to topics she knew held my interest, taking the time to cut them out of the paper and mail them to me. We also remember Aunt Betty and Uncle Jim were the last ones dancing at Zachery and Chelsea’s wedding for the couple who had been married the longest! Our prayers are with you all during this difficult time.

Paul, Kelly, Aaron and Ellen McNair
Ada, Michigan

Pat Nash
January 4, 2013 at 8:54 am

What made Betty so special? She loved and lived life to the fullest…she loved her family more than life itself…she loved her friends as if they were her family…and she treated everyone she met with love. So when she answered that phone at Kositchek’s with “How may I love you?”–that was no mistake. Betty was love. I feel so blessed to have had her in my life for so many years and her memory and zest for life will live on forever. We will not have her bigger-than-life personality physically with us, but anyone who knew her will always feel her love. My heartfelt sympathies to her adoring husband Jim and her loving family.

Kerbi Ancona
January 4, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Betty was a special Lady who loved life.When she was around you were going to have fun. I looked forward to her and Jim coming to Destin and staying for the winter months. She always had time to talk and give you a big hug.When Betty spoke of her family you could feel her love.
Heaven has gained an Amazing Angel with lots of joy and laughter!
I am blessed to have known her she will be missed
My thoughts and prayers are with Jim and the family

Norma May
January 4, 2013 at 10:52 pm

Fond memories of Betty include: 1) Betty was in our wedding party in 1961. 2) In the early years, family Christmases on Ionia Street in Lansing. 3)Fall weekends in Grand Bend to spend time with our Canadian cousin Euoleen. Jim and the men played golf. Betty and Jim’s sisters SHOPPED! 4) Recently every other year a family Thanksgiving gathering in Bloomfield Hills hosted by Lenore and Dick. The young people loved to outbid Aunt Betty during the charity auctions. And she usually won! (Jim had his wallet out!). 5) In 1994 we started coming to Florida and enjoyed dinners together, watching MSU basketball at various bars(!). But we think the most fun for Betty was catching beads at the Ft. Walton, SanDestin, Pensacola Mardi Gras parades!!! Betty found life exciting and a challenge. She will be missed. Love, Pat and Norma (Koessel)May

Caron Garcia Martinez
January 5, 2013 at 12:06 am

Just thinking of Betty the Bomber brings a smile to my face. As a long time friend of her son, Mike, I’ve had occasion to hear countless stories of Betty and Jim’s escapades — all of them true and all of them meant to inspire laughter- and to hear Betty’s exuberant voice on the phone from time to time. The Koessel family has lost a treasure in Betty, and my heart goes out to all of you. May you speak of her often, remember her always, and may her memory inspire you to love and live life as she did. My entire family has you all in our prayers.

Caron, John, Alex, Peter & Daniel Martinez
Vienna, VA

Kimberly Davis and family
January 5, 2013 at 9:09 am

We are sad that Aunt Betty has left us but so glad that we have been blessed with so many wonderful and fun memories we have shared with her. She was fun loving and always on the go. We especially enjoyed all the fun in Florida at our Dinners and shopping. And who could ever forget the fun she had at our auctions on Thanksgiving Day. I talked with Jackie to tell her about Aunt Betty and she was so upset that she can’t be there for her celebration of life ceremony, but sends her love and prayers to the family.. Aunt Betty was very proud of her Journey to the Navy. She never missed one of the kids Graduations which was so great, she and Uncle Jim lit up the room at Zach and Chelsea wedding . And she even made it to my first Grand babies shower. I loved the cards and concern she had for us over the years. She made a point to call for lunch when I was in collage and whenever we were visiting Mom and Dad in Florida,.. Our Prayers go out to everyone who will have a place in their heart with a missing part , and may they fill it with all the fun smiles and laughter Aunt Betty has given each and everyone of us.. We will miss her a lot, but we will remember her fondly…. Kim,Greg,Zach and Chelsea,Josh and Jackie…

Sue and Ken Dickinson
January 5, 2013 at 6:19 pm

To the Family but especially Jim and Kim. Ken and I were so sorry to hear that Betty had passed away. I saw her when I visited the funderal home when her mother passed away. I knew she had had some health problems but she looked like she was doing well at that time. We are in Destin so we will not be able to attend the funeral but our thoughts and prayers will be with you. Betty was such a friendly, happy person and she loved her family so much. We hope that the happy memories and good times over the years will give you comfort during this difficult and sad time. Sincerely, Sue and Ken

Samer Kottiech
January 5, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Very sad to see Betty the Bomber go. I have witnessed her enthusiastic personality at Beach in Fire island, her love not only for her kids, but also friends of her kids (in this case Michael)
and her fierce fight for life. She wanted to meet my twin sons, Armaan and Zain, born this past summer, and she managed to meet them, to show her beautiful smile, and to hold them, despite her advanced disease and weakness. Armaan and Zain will hear always that somewhere a wonderful ‘grandma Betty’ will be watching out for them.
We are sad to see you go, but we are glad to know that we can feel your beautiful spirit for ever.

Steve Bohnet
January 6, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Dear Jim, Greg, Mike and Matt,
So sorry to hear of Betty’s passing. The last time I saw her was in our store shorty after my parents Ron and Evelyn died, in 2008. I remember her well from back in the days of St. Pauls and it seemd she and my Mom were always on some commitee. I can remember my Dad saying, with love, “Betty, you were vacinated with a phonograph needle, cause you never shut up!” She and my Mom always lauged and great fun together. She was one of a kind and always up, fun and funny. I am sure she running heaven, right now.
Our sincere sympathy for your loss, Steve and the Bohnet Family.

Ron and Barbara Hummeldorf
January 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm

We just can’t imagine that Betty is gone. She was such a bright light in our annual visits to Florida and anytime we talked to her throughout the year. We just loved to shop, go out to eat or just sit by the pool and enjoy. She made our visit so much more enjoyable with her laughter her wonderful personality and made every thing we did just a little more enjoyable. Jim, we are thinking of you and your family and just wish that we could be there with you but so sorry that we were unable to make the trip. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Love, Ron and Barbara Hummeldorf
Cincinnati, Ohio

Patti,Kelsey and Jim McDonald
January 6, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Uncle Jim, Greg, Mike and Matt, we are sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers. We will miss Aunt Betty at Thanksgiving.
Sorry we were unable to come to Lansing.

Amy Maynard
January 8, 2013 at 3:38 pm

My heartfelt sympathies go out to Uncle Jim, Greg, Mike & Matt. Although it has been a few years since I last saw Aunt Betty, I have a lot of very fun memories of her at Grandma & Grandpa’s on Christmas Eve with all of the cousins, aunts, & uncles, and more recently, at our house in Chicago with Mike & Uncle Jim. We had a lot of fun that evening & it was Aunt Betty who, after dinner at our house, encouraged driving around Chicago late at night and getting ice cream sundaes at an ice cream parlor! (This was the big city, after all!) Steve & I live in Arizona now & I’m sorry we couldn’t make it to Lansing, but we’ve been thinking a lot about you & Aunt Betty.

Love, Amy & Steve

Roberto Redondo
January 11, 2013 at 3:47 pm

So sad to be writing this note dear auntie Betty… what an amazing woman. I will always rememeber your positive spirit and aventurous personality and the laughts we had and the silly stories we created together. I am so happy you made the time to come to the city over the summer to see me, I know it was difficult for you to walk, I will never forget it as your last gift to me. Thank you always for being so generous and gracious. Love and miss you…

Daniel Gastel
January 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm

I met Betty only a few times but I remember well her teasing playful manner and her hearty laugh. To Mike, my college friend, his father, brothers, and extended family, I wish you all the best in a difficult time.l


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