Monday, June 26, 2017
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
St. James Catholic Church
733 Bridge St. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Life Story / Obituary
Betty Jean (Smigiel) Faranski, born February 17, 1932, went peacefully into the arms of Jesus with her family by her side on June 24, 2017. Betty joins in heaven her loving husband Edmund, her beloved son Tom, her mother Anna, father Frank, sister Elaine, and brother Clarence. Betty was a loving and devoted mother and will be dearly missed by her four daughters: Kathy Faranski, Mary (John) Hackett, Susan (John) Burke, and Amy (Jeff) Jager; by her 9 grandchildren: Rebecca, Laura and Eric Mier, James and Joseph Hackett, Morgan and Erin Burke, Sarah and Adam Jager; and by her brother Bob (Madelyn) Smigiel, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Betty was born on the northwest side of Grand Rapids, where she resided all her life. She was a lifelong parishioner of St. James Parish, where she attended grade school, followed by high school at Mount Mercy Academy, where she earned “Bookkeeper of the Year” in the year of her graduation. As a young woman, she worked as a bookkeeper at the Grand Rapids Herald. She met her husband of 60 years, Edmund, through her brother Clare, and they married on May 2, 1953.
Betty was an intelligent, warm, energetic, and conscientious woman who dedicated herself to caring for her family, in particular her special son Tom. She masterfully maintained a clean, orderly, and joyful home and welcomed many visitors with her exceptional hospitality. She was a first-rate cook and baker whose numerous specialties will be missed by many who enjoyed them. Her banana bread was particularly legendary. She graciously hosted many memorable holiday meals and family celebrations. Betty also was a skilled seamstress and knitter, and an enthusiastic traveler.
Betty’s grandchildren were a source of delight and pride. She welcomed each one lovingly, eagerly anticipated and cherished the time spent with them, and held them close to her heart always. Beyond caring for her family, Betty was quick to serve others in need with a home-cooked meal, a listening ear, and a helping hand. She has many loving, devoted friends who will miss her dearly. Betty was a paragon of etiquette and grace who brightened the lives of all those she touched.
Throughout her life, Betty and her husband Edmund worked to enhance educational and social opportunities for individuals with mental retardation, including helping in the foundation of Lincoln School for the Developmentally Disabled and in the establishment of the Guardian Angel Homes on behalf of their son Tom.
The family would like to acknowledge the exceptional care provided by the staff of St. Ann’s Home and Emmanuel Hospice.
Betty’s family will receive visitors at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel at 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW on Monday from 2-4pm and 6-8pm. The Rosary will be prayed on Monday at 7:30pm. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am at St. James Catholic Church, 733 Bridge St. NW, where she will repose one hour prior to the funeral Mass. Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent in Betty’s honor to either St. Ann’s Home or the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (https://www.themmrf.org/).
Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to archive a memory, photo or to sign the guestbook.