Betty Rieger died smiling at the age of 96. She was born in Oak Park, Illinois to parents Corry (Kilbey) Posson and Gail Kenyon Posson, and into a large extended family headed by maternal grandparents who had devoted their lives to Christian Rescue work and the Salvation Army. Betty felt that living through those depression years in a family that never complained benefited her entire life.
Betty attended DePauw University where she met lifelong friends from Bloomington, Indiana, and fell in love with Tad, a red-headed soon-to-be medical student. They were married a year later. Soon after the new Dr. Rieger completed his urology residency and Naval service, they and their three babies moved to Bloomington, Indiana. Over the years Betty found purpose in the community, organizing the first Pink Lady shift at the hospital and later becoming president of the newly formed Hospital Foundation. Her other outside passion was founding the Kappa Alpha Theta Antique Show and managing it for many years as it raised thousands of dollars for non-profits. In the meantime, her children, spaced a year and a half apart, raised a wonderful mother who taught them to fly.
Betty and her sweetheart danced anywhere and to anything, even in the kitchen. Later in life they were able to travel extensively, supporting one another with grace and loving kindness until her Tad was gone in 2004.
Betty loved to keep everyone smiling and laughing with her bright outlook and sense of humor, so her children dubbed her “The Happiness Lady.” Second to her family, Betty valued her many good friends from college, P.E.O., Bridge Club, 19th Century Club, and her treasured Betty Pointer. She cherished her hours rose gardening, sewing, antiquing, interior decorating, and even built a giant dollhouse for a grandchild.
Betty loved her country and was adamant about keeping it as the Founding Fathers, under God, envisioned. She was awed by the beauty in His world, and agonized when it was absent.
In later years, Betty and Tad retired part-time to Tidy Island on the gulf coast of Florida, where they discovered the church of their dreams, Longboat Island Chapel. When Tad passed away in 2004, Betty was swept up into a unique group from the Chapel called Shifting Sands who blessed her with support and precious friendships. This newfound joy prompted her to forge a like group on Tidy Island, the “Loose Ladies” who celebrate their birthdays together, and on each Valentine’s Day release balloons into the sky in memory of their loved ones. She also enjoyed spying on her grandchildren on Facebook.
Betty never forgot her humble and resourceful beginning. Her number one rule was: just be nice.
Betty is survived by three children: Sherri Williams (Dave) of Salem, OR; Corry Morgan of Tidy Island, Bradenton, FL; Mark (Karen) Rieger of Greenwood, IN, and nephew Todd (Julie) Posson of Bloomington, IN. She became “Grandmommy” to her eight adoring grandchildren: Betsy Sochar, Jenny (Shawn) Steen, David (Vee) Buck, Jeff (Ashleigh) Sochar, Matthew Sochar, Andria Buck, Paul (Moriah) Rieger, and Patricia Rieger. Her great grands Kailey Sochar, Mason and Maverick Steen, Hunter Lounsbury, Jagger Buck, Colin Sochar, and Isla and Gavin Munoz pulled her beads, giggled in her lap, and sent her colorful drawings and love notes for 15 years. Her second great granddaughter “baby girl” Rieger is arriving to Paul and Moriah in July. Betty is also predeceased by brother, Ken and Jackie Posson, sister-in-law Barbara Russell, and niece Paula Russell (Cheri).
Betty was the perfect mother who was thoughtful and generous beyond words. She even wrote her own obituary years ago, requiring her grieving children only to edit and update. The joy and grace she extended to all she met will be missed by many here, but celebrated in heaven.
A memorial service will be held at 1:15 PM on Saturday, June 5, 2021 at The Funeral Chapel of Powell and Deckard, 3000 E. Third Street Bloomington, Indiana.
Friends and family may gather to celebrate Betty’s life following the memorial service until 3:00 PM at The Funeral Chapel.
A private family entombment will be held at Valhalla Memory Gardens in Bloomington.