Obituary of Betty Jean Labert
Betty Jean Justice was born in Middlesboro, Kentucky on April 21, 1942. She was one of four children born to Robert and Jewell (Prater) Justice. As a young girl, Betty’s family moved to Michigan settling in Dundee. She attended Dundee Community Schools graduating with the class of 1960.
On June 5, 1965, Betty wed Elwyn Francis Labert at the Dundee Assembly of God Church. Elwyn built a house for Betty in 1978 on forty acres of farmland purchased from his mother. It was there they made their home and raised their three children, Phillip, Sandra, and Paul. In addition to caring for the needs of her family, Betty was employed as a secretary for the State of Michigan Department of Social Services for more than twenty years. She retired in 1997.
The Laberts embarked on at least one family vacation every year, often with their camper trailer in tow. Destinations included the Upper Peninsula, Niagra Falls, Wisconsin Dells, Montana, The Smokey Mountains, and Nashville, Tennessee where they attended the Grand Ol’ Opry. The Labert family also frequently visited their cabin in Northern Michigan near Atlanta. Snowbirds for many years, Betty and Ellie headed south to their residence in Belleview, Florida as soon as the wintry weather arrived. They looked forward to gathering with friends weekly listening to live music performances at their favorite haunt. The pair also took a memorable trip to Germany to visit their German daughter, Karen, and to celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary where they visited centuries-old castles and joined in the festivities of Oktoberfest. They even witnessed history when, as they were preparing to leave Germany, news broke that the Berlin Wall had fallen.
During the Christmas Season, Betty dressed the part as Mrs. Claus alongside her husband as Santa to entertain children at the Moose Lodge. A country music lover, Betty attended many concerts including Kenny Rogers multiple times. She was talented in the kitchen and took her recipe inspiration from her vast collection of cookbooks. Betty’s family always looked forward to her homemade lasagna, butterscotch pie, and especially her banana pudding which she learned to make from her mother. A talented crafter, she kept her hands busy knitting and crocheting. Betty was known to gift her handmade dishcloths and dishtowels. Family oriented, she adored her “grandbabies” and loved to listen to her adult children tell stories and reminisce about their childhood. A sweet and gentle woman, Betty lived her life to honor God.
Betty Jean Labert, age 80, of Dundee passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, April 2, 2023, under the care of Elara Caring Hospice. Her passing was preceded by her parents; her husband of fifty-seven years: Elwyn Labert in July of 2022; a brother: Jerry Justice; Infant brother, Robert Olen Justice and a sister: Judy Wilkinson.
To cherish her memory she leaves three children: Phillip (Aida) Labert, Sandra (Gregory) Sargent, and Paul (April) Labert; “adopted” daughter: Karen (Andreas) Student-Hehl who came to live with the Labert family as an exchange student from Germany in 1986; nine grandchildren: Phillip Labert, Brendan Labert, Gregory Sargent Jr., Michelle Sargent, William Sargent, Jacob Sargent, Thomas Sargent, Gabriel Labert, Christine Rios Matias, and Katharina Hehl; four great-grandchildren: Audrey, Nolan, Jacob, and Xavier; and a brother: Charles (Roberta “Bobbi”) Justice and sister-in-law: Lillian Justice of Tazewell, TN (wife of Jerry Justice).
Friends may gather on Wednesday; April 5, 2023, from 4:00pm until 8:00pm at Merkle Funeral Service, Dundee; 297 Tecumseh Street, Dundee, Michigan 48131 (734) 529-3156. She will lie in state from 10:00am until a Worship Service Celebrating her Life at 11:00am on Thursday; April 6, 2023, at Dundee United Methodist Church; 645 Franklin Street, Dundee, Michigan 48131. A procession will follow to Maple Grove Cemetery in Dundee.
Donations may be made to Dundee United Methodist Church in remembrance of Betty Jean Labert.
Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort or share a photo by visiting www.merklefs.com.