Betty Bard, Who was she? Well, a fun loving sister, a faithful wife, a protective mother, a grandma of grandmas, a sweet aunt, and a friend to many. She was a survivor, independent, a prefectionist, gregarious, charitable, helpful, and more.
Betty loved life. She loved being around people, being the center of attenton, and being where the fun was; and if she had to invite the people and make the fun, that was ok too. She was not one to sit and relax, she always pitched in and helped out wherever she was, and spent more than her share of time visiting shut-ins. And, as Mike knows when then weren't dancing, or playing cards with Jim and Mary Lou, she loved to go eat at Pierre de Orleans. She always kept things hopping when she went to visit! When the nieces and nephews were young Betty and Roland would come from Connecticut for sledding and skating and Christmas time visits. After their move to Phoenix, the visits were fewer but longer and even more active with brisk country walks, and cooking huge meals, then boating, and dancing, and shop til you drop, playing cards til midnight.
She loved going to the beach at Wildwood, NJ. Betty, Laurette, and Juliette, the Three Musketteers at the beach. Each with their stylish swim caps, jumping the waves and daring each other to dive in. Then back to the apartment to boil up clams we'd found in the ocean, then walking, biking and shopping the boards and still playing cards. But her life was more than just fun. She had a passion for her family. For keeping them safe, training them right, and challenging them to always do better. She was always telling Mark not to drive in those car races. Once when she found out he'd been racing, she yelled, "Stop racing! You're gonna kill yourself!" Then asked, "Did you win?". When Mark reported that he'd placed third, she retorted," Well, if you're gonna do this, you'd better figure out how to win!" Then she went and bragged to her friends how well he'd done in the race!
She was very health conscious, strongly encouraging her family to eat right, but she didn't always have the support of the rest of the family. When Betty insisted that little Mark eat his carrots, Berd felt sorry for him and put his carrots in her pocket when Betty wasn't looking.
Sometimes she pushed too hard and expected too much, or rejected the loved ones she needed to touch. But even when misguided, her heart's desire was for her family. To be close knit and stay in touch. She lived for those wonderful visits from Pauline, and all the special times with John and Mark and their families in Idaho. She loved family photos, especially the ones Bonnie sent with narrations on the back.
She had an extensive card and phone ministry. She touched many a life by remembering birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. She and her sister, Juliette, spoke faithfully sharing their joys and pains. Staying connected with family was a top priority. And even when the family matters got tense, she believed in keeping close, no matter what.
Her final words, handwritten in her will were, "No fights. OK. Love, Mom XXX"
We are here today to show our love and respect for this precious and unique woman. We shed our tears and wish that she was still here with us; but let our tears be for ourselves and not for her. Betty did not fear death, but rather welcomed it for she knew, as the apostle Paul did, that as a believer in Jesus Christ, " to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." And given that choice even Paul would say, " I desire to depart and be with Christ which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body." Paul said that because his work was not yet done
On September 14th, 2010, Betty's work here was finished, and the Lord called her home. Was she a perfect individual, did she always do and say the right things? Of course not, and which one of us does? Than God that her hope in heaven was not based on her own merit, but in her personal relationship with the Son of God, Jesus Christ. You see, Betty loved her church and her religion. She belonged to two prayer group, and visited friends in the hospital, and donated to many charities. She had high expectations and pushed herself and her family to always be and do better than the best. But none of these things qualified her to be in God's presence when she left this life. Rather it was her daily walk, and talks with her Heavenly Father, with her her Lord and Savior. That is what brought her into His presence. It was meditating on His word, and doing his will to the best of her ablility, and then trusting Him to do the rest. That is what carried her into His presence.
Who IS Betty Bard? A sinner saved by grace and loved by God. His child, welcomed into His presence, not because of what she did, but because of who she put her trust in, Jesus Christ her Lord and Savior. And just as He loves Betty, He loves you too. Won't you put your trust in Him? He will never leave you, never forsake you, never let you down. And when this life no longer holds you, He will welcome you into His presence.
Services in Betty's honor were held at 10:00am, Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at Christ the King Catholic Church and continued with a graveside service at Mountain View Cemetery where she is now with her beloved Roland. Arrangements were entrusted to Melcher Mortuary Chapel of the Roses, Mesa, AZ.