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Elizabeth A. “Betty” Empson, 83, Wellsville

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WELLSVILLE – Elizabeth A. “Betty” Empson, 83, passed away on Monday (February 26, 2024) at Highland Health Care in Wellsville, NY.

Mrs. Empson was born in Hornell on October 23, 1940 to Alex J. and Mary Rita (Kieff) Brown. She graduated from Greenwood Central School in 1958. On November 29, 1958 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rexville, Betty married the love of her life, Ralph Edward Empson, who preceded her in death on June 14, 2021.

Betty devoted much of her life to her family as a stay-at-home mom and homemaker. After the children were grown, she was a school bus driver for Greenwood Central School from 1988 to 2004, when she retired.

Betty is survived by her children, Brenda L. (Ross) Robarts of Wellsville, Beth A. (Steven) Blitz of Bartow, Fla., Ralph E. (Anja) Empson, Jr. of Bietigheim, Germany and Jay W. (Kelly) Empson of Alfred Station; sisters, Louise (Jim)Ahearn of Greenwood, Peggy (Bill) O’Rourke of Hornell, Alexis (Ned) Cole of Pa., and Rosetta (Doug) Greaney of Alfred Station; two brothers-in-law, Darold Coddington and Rob Streeter.

14 grandchildren: Eric Steven (Amanda) Blitz, Shawn Michael (Amy) Blitz, Joshua John Robarts, Lisa Beth (John) Sacher, Patricia Elizabeth (Michael) Wendt, Amber Rene (Kody) Jones, Zachary Ross (Morgan) Robarts, Jacob Ryan (Katarina) Robarts, Sarah Elizabeth Robarts, Justin Jay (Pia) Empson, Mandy Ann Empson, Gabriel Ryan Empson, Logan-Sage Elizabeth Empson, and Aidyn Jay Empson;

15 great grandchildren: Adalyn Blitz, Brooke Blitz, Austin Blitz, Ella Sacher, Luke Blitz, Evie Sacher, Alexander Blitz, Alana Jones, Trinity Rhodes, Maddie Blitz, Taya Jones, Alyx Jones, Gilbert Jones, Kaia Wendt, and Emilio Empson; as well as several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Along with her husband of 62 years, Betty was preceded in death by three sisters, Mary Drake, Jennie Coddington, and Anna Marie Streeter.

Betty is best described by four simple values. Value One, “The way to a person’s heart is through their stomach.” Betty loved to cook. Growing up with seven sisters and raising four children, there were plenty of opportunities for preparing home cooked meals. The primary meal of the day was prepared at lunchtime for her and her husband.

Value Two, “Home is where the heart is.” Out of necessity, Betty left home at ten to assist other neighboring families with housekeeping and childcare duties. These became her home away from home. As a result, she became meticulous with laundry, cooking, mothering and any other chores around the home. This was something she loved to do, and she did it well.

Value three, “Make do with what you have.” Betty, by necessity, learned at an early age to be frugal. She was great at canning and knew how to put together a delightful meal with the food on hand. Along the way she picked up sewing, crocheting and other household skills that helped to stretch the budget.

And finally, Value Four, “We may not have a lot, but we have more than we need.” Betty was content with life and loving her family. Her children summed it up best with, “Mom’s life was her children.”

Betty enjoyed dancing, which led her to meet her future husband at the West Union Fire Hall.

She was a Brownie Girl Scout leader; high school cheer leader; enjoyed participating in the Brown Sisters Family Singing Act. She enjoyed time throughout her life with Evelyn Cornell. She enjoyed catering events with good friend, Orpha Herr.

There will be a time of visitation on Friday (March 1) from 5-7 p.m. at Baker-Swan Funeral Home in Andover.

Immediately following the visitation at 7:00 p.m., Rev. Christian Mattison will lead a celebration of life service.

The funeral service will be held on Saturday (March 2) at 11 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Church in Andover with the Rev. James Hartwell officiating; burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery. Online condolences may be offered at www.baker-swan.com.

Memorial contributions in Betty’s name may be made to Parkinson’s Research at Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131 or a charity of your choice. © 2024 Baker-Swan Funeral Home.

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