Betty (Bethli, as Ferdy affectionately called her) passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home, May 12th, 2023, at the age of 90, a mere six days after her beloved husband Ferdy, (Ferdinand) died. They had been married 70 years.
Betty was born in Bubendorf, Canton of Basel-Land, to Karl and Margaretha Baumann-Gass. She was the second youngest and the only girl of six children. Betty grew up in two story house where she, one day when she was a teenager, fell from the second story onto the pavement below. In the hospital with broken bones, doctors did not give her much hope of ever walking again. After four weeks of recuperation and a miracle, Betty was sent home to live a normal life. The injuries would cause her to have a lot of back pain in later years.
Betty met Ferdy (her future husband) at the age of 19 while she was on a walk, and he approached her asking for directions to nearby Castle Wildenstein. When they went their separate ways, they both turned around and gazed at each other. Ferdy didn’t waste any time and after finding out her phone number from a friend, asked her out on a date the very next day.
A long distance romance ensued for a year, as Betty waited for Ferdy to get established in California. They were joined in holy matrimony in 1952 in Switzerland, in a double wedding with one of her brothers.
Betty and Ferdy arrived in California at Sacramento’s Executive Airport on an early morning flight with the sunrise illuminating palm trees. This made her instantly fall in love with the beauty of this country.
Betty quickly made a home for her and Ferdy on Parkside Court, where they welcomed their two sons, Eric in 1954, and Edwin in 1956. Later they moved to their house on Crestwood Way where they lived for over 60 years. She was a devoted mother and wife, becoming involved in all her children’s activities and actively helping Ferdy with all his business ventures, whether it was selling sausages at the farmer’s market every week or cleaning up after sausage making at the butcher shop or tending to the store and selling their goods . Betty became an important link in the success of Ferdy’s businesses.
Betty loved to garden, so it was not too much of a stretch for her to volunteer at the Historical Cemetery on Riverside Boulevard, at their “Restore the Cemetery” project, where she was honored and her name added to the plaque at the Cemetery. It also filled the void she felt after the tragic loss of both her children, who died when the boys were just young adults. It was her strong faith in God and the love of her husband who helped her to carry on.
Betty was a faithful Parishioner for over 60 years at Holy Spirit Church. With the guidance of one Joane Deiter, she converted to Catholicism in her later years from being a Protestant.
Betty had many hobbies besides gardening: crocheting, needle point, playing jass (a Swiss card game), and swimming. She participated in a water aerobics class for years. She was a 50+ years member of the Swiss Club of Sacramento, where she helped Ferdy prepare many meals for parties with the club. Betty was known in the Swiss club as the person who greeted newcomers and made them feel welcomed . She was the one who always made sure no one ever was forgotten, whether it was visiting the sick, the elderly, or the ones that had drifted away from the club. She made sure she either called or visited to find out how everyone was doing.
Betty and Ferdy enjoyed traveling near and far in their later years. Her love of nature was reflected by the many rocks she collected from all around the world. She had an immense love for animals, dogs in particular. She and Ferdy raised many dogs in their time. She said each time one passed that there would be no more, for it hurt so much, and then they would get another one. Their last dog Max had proceeded them just by a little over a month in death. They had the privilege of walking the nature trail behind their house which Betty took pride in maintaining for years, from weeding to picking up after dogs and people’s discarded cigarette butts. She put water out for decades for the dogs that got to go on their daily walks. It broke her heart as the city informed everyone that they have now other plans for this beautiful nature trail. Thank God she never had to hear the pavement being poured.
What defined Betty was her kindness, her gentle ways, her wittiness, and always seeing the positive in all situations. In short, she was a beautiful soul!!!
Her sons Eric and Edwin, and brothers Max, Karl, Kurt, Paul, and Toni, all preceded her in death.
Bueti Gott!! Until we see you again!