Elizabeth “Bette” Deniston of Carbondale passed away peacefully Sunday morning, January 4, 2015, at the
age of 83 after a seven years with cancer.
She spent her final two days in the Hospice room at St. Joseph Memorial Hospital in Murphysboro under the loving care of the St. Joseph staff and the staff of Hospice of Southern Illinois, which had been taking care of her for several months.
The last year was the hardest, but Bette continued her life as well as she could, including getting her hair and nails done up to the very end.Thanks to Beth at Artistic Expressions and Vivienne at California Pro Nails for their kindness and indulgence. She looked forward to and enjoyed her visits very much. They were a welcome respite during the most trying times.
Bette was from Evansville, Indiana, and came to Carbondale after World War II when her father was relocated. She went to Carbondale Community High School and was a proud member of the Class of 1949, the 49ers. She continued to be involved with her alma mater helping the reunion group sponsor a scholarship fund.
Bette is survived by her sister Mary Lou Goodey of Jacksonville, Illinois, her three children, Geary Deniston of Carbondale, Larry (Linda) Deniston of Portage, Michigan and Jo Carol (Russell Broker) Deniston of Carbondale, her grandson Cory (Michelle) Deniston of Chesapeake, Virginia, her granddaughter Erin (Spencer)Sagaskie of Carbondale, her grandson Andrew (Amber) Deniston of Portage, Michigan, her grandson Logan Denistonof Portage, Michigan and her great-grandson Eli Sagaskie of Carbondale. Her extended family includes 11 nieces and seven nephews, 18 grand nephews and six grand nieces, and two
great grand nephews and one great grand niece and counting.
Bette was preceded in death by her husband of 45 years Luther Deniston in 1997, her father Walter Mann in 1975, her grandson Ryan Deniston in 1984, her brother Dick Mann in 1989, her mother Edna Mann in 1996 and her sister Pat Ditzler in 1999. Bette was the matriarch of the Deniston Family. She was a wonderful mother to her children and a great grandmother to her grandchildren. The joy of her life this past three years was the birth of her only great-grandchild Eli. “GG” became the doting great-grandmother who never hesitated to show his pictures and to tell anyone who would listen about how smart Eli is.
Stuart Scott from ESPN died the day before and something he said sums up best how Bette lived the last seven years of her life. “When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”
And live she did. Later in life she went back to school and got her Associate’s Degree in accounting and worked many years as an accountant formany local businesses. Bette always gave back to her community, including volunteering for over 30 years at the Pink Geranium at Carbondale Memorial Hospital up until her final year.
After her husband died she spent the next nine years traveling around the country on bus trips sponsored by the churches in the area. While she was a member of the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church it could be said she also became an honorary Methodist because many of the trips were sponsored by the First United Methodist Church as well as being an honorary member of the University Baptist Church because several of her friends go there. At St. Francis she was a long time member of the Heritage Club and it could be said, without fear of contradiction, that the annual St. Patrick’s Day corned beef dinner wouldn’t have been such a success if not for Bette’s recipe for corned beef. Bette enjoyed her bridge club and sorority friends more than they will ever know. She was also a member of another group of longtime friends known as Klub. Their monthly meetings were just what the doctor ordered during her last years. In fact, the last meeting was just a month ago and very much needed. Finally, Bette was known far and wide for her house and gardens. She would change the decorations, both inside and out, with each season and holiday. Her gardens were not only enjoyed by her, but by anyone who walked by.
Bette will be missed and her type only comes by once in a very long while. Goodbye and hope your next life with Dad and Ryan and the rest of the Mann and Deniston family will be just as great as your life with us.
Visitation will take place Thursday, January 8 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Walker Funeral Home. A Prayer Vigil Service will take place at 7 pm. A Funeral Mass will be held Friday, January 9 at 10 a.m. at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Carbondale. Bette will be laid to rest inOakland Cemetery in Carbondale.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society or Hospice of Southern Illinois.