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Betty J. VanValkenburg, age 96, of Buffalo, died Thursday, January 18, 2024, at her home at the Havenwood of Buffalo Assisted Living.
Funeral Services will be held 10:00 a.m. Friday, January 26, 2024, at Wayzata Community Church in Wayzata with Pastor Lindy Purdy officiating. A visitation will take place thirty minutes prior to the service and a social gathering will follow the service until 12:30 p.m. A private burial will follow at Crystal Lake Cemetery in Minneapolis.
Betty Joyce Ekholm was born on June 19, 1927, in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Bror and Emma (Bjorlin) Ekholm. She grew up in Minneapolis and was a 1945 graduate of Patrick Henry High School. Betty was a long-time employee of the City of Brooklyn Park, primarily in the Park and Recreation Department. On June 21, 1968, she was united in marriage to Bob VanValkenburg at Redeemer Covenant Church in Brookly Park. Together they made their home in Brooklyn Center and later in Wayzata. Betty was a former member of Redeemer Covenant Church and a longtime member of Wayzata Community Church. She was also a member of Optimist International.
Betty possessed an unwavering spirit, which was reflected in her quick wit and infectious sense of humor. As a comedian, Betty dazzled audiences with her comedic timing, that brought smiles to faces near and far. She was a phenomenal artist, with paintings displayed throughout the community; including a painting that she completed at the age of four that hung at the Walker Art Institute in Minneapolis. Through her talents, she uplifted spirits and brought joy to countless lives.
Betty's adventurous spirit was evident in her lifelong love for travel. Drawing inspiration from her rich Swedish heritage, she explored the vast corners of the world, immersing herself in different cultures and embracing the diversity that surrounded her. Her journeys allowed her to weave together a vibrant tapestry of experiences and stories, which she eagerly shared with all who were fortunate enough to cross her path. Over the years, her adventures brought her to China, Russia, Sweden, all of over Europe, Hawaii, Minnesota's North Shore, winters in Florida, and quiet times at Sugar Lake.
Betty will forever remain in the hearts of her adoring family. She is survived by her children, Joni (Greg) Selle of Maple Lake and Bruce (Robin) VanValkenburg of Augusta, WI; stepson, Jack (Sally) VanValkenburg of Naples, FL; 12 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren+1 on the way; and many other family members and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Bob; stepchildren, Merrily and Robin; grandson, Jake VanValkenburg; and her best friend, Jean Stoen.
Nick Selle, Ben Selle, Joe Selle, Ronnie VanValkenburg, John Bolmgren, and Gary Grant will serve as casket bearers. Arrangements entrusted to Dingmann Funeral Care Burial and Cremation Services of Annandale.
As we mourn the loss of Betty Joyce VanValkenburg, we also celebrate the fullness of her life. Guided by lessons learned from her Swedish roots, she exemplified strength, resilience, and an unwavering commitment to family and community. Her legacy will forever remain etched in our hearts as we carry forward her spirit of laughter, adventure, and love. May her memory live on in our hearts, forever guiding us with her love, humor, and sense of adventure.
Obituary, Guestbook, Video Tribute, and Funeral Webcast online at www.dingmannfuneral.com