Elizabeth M. Timmer

Escanaba, formerly of Hale & Grand Rapids
September 18, 1924 - November 16, 2017


Tuesday, November 21, 2017 from 12 noon to 1 pm

Service Location

Buresh Funeral Home


1:00 PM on Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Obituary Notice

Elizabeth “Betty” Marie (Putnam) Timmer passed away on November 16, 2017 in Escanaba, Michigan with her loved ones by her side. She was born on September 18, 1924 and was the eighth child of Edward O. Putnam and Lottie Mae Webb. She was raised in Hale, Michigan on a rural farm and was a member of the 1st. 12t Grade Class of the Plainfield Township Rural Agricultural High School in 1943. She married Robert G. Timmer on February 10, 1944 at McDill Army Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida and went on to attend Beauty School in Bay City, to become a beautician. In addition to working in a salon and freelancing beauty work at home, she often worked several jobs at once to support her young children (all six).

She was a life-long Democrat and had a passion for running in elections and a knack for getting elected. She was the former treasurer of the Iosco County Commission on Aging for 17 years, former chair and treasurer of the Iosco County Democratic Party, Plainfield Township Clerk from 1976-1988, former member of the Hale Area School Board, member of the Arenac-Iosco District Library for 12 years and a member of the Hale Area Senior Center Executive Board for 17 years.

Betty belonged to many organizations including the River AuSable Chapter NSDAR, Glenn Staley American Legion Post #422 Ladies Auxiliary, charter member of the VFW Post #7435 Ladies Auxiliary, charter member of the Hale F.O.E. #4217 Ladies Auxiliary and the Hale Area Trail Blazers.

Betty worked in the City Nursing Office at the Kent County Health Department from 1950-1960. She retired from the City of Grand Rapids in 1975 after working as a clerk in the City Assessors’s Office from 1960-1975. She then worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a guide at Lumberman’s Monument Visitor Center in Iosco County on the shores of the AuSable River.

In later years, Betty worked for the Grand Rapids Public Schools at the K.E.C. Oakleigh School as a “Grandma” in a special program pairing elderly people as teacher aides with classroom teachers. She often expressed great satisfaction in working with the young children. The students were drawn to her warmth, kindness and constant smile.

Betty had many adventures in her lifetime including a trip on a government refueling plane and the opportunity to place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, DC, an opportunity that she felt proud to have had.

Most of her life she was a Methodist but prior to her death she converted and became a member of St. Adelbert’s Catholic Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Betty is survived by her sister, Dorothy Lehman; her six children, Robert Timmer, Terri (John) Mileski, Monique Ciofu, Michelle (Dan) Benningfield, Suzette Axdorff, and Lance (Diane) Timmer; 13 grandchildren, Jackson Ciofu, Alanna Timmer, Josh (Tina) Mileski, Stosh Mileski, Michael Terpstra, Daniel (Michelle) Terpstra, Robert (Diana) Terpstra, Geoffrey Timmer, Kevin Timmer, Lance Timmer, Jr., Andy Benningfield, Emily (Dan) Hayward, Molly (AJ), and many great grand-children.

An incredible life well-lived! RIP Mom.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert George Timmer, special friend, Howard Koenders, mother, Lottie Mae Webb; father, Edward O. Putnam; her siblings, Gertrude Putnam, Lottie Eymer, Elma Alderton, Ida Webb, John Putnam, Charles Putnam and Leon Putnam; sons-in-law, Jack Ciofu, Dan Terpstra and Tom Axdorff.

Services will be held on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 1:00 pm at the Buresh Funeral Home in Hale, MI with Fr. Al Pilarelli officiating. Interment will be in the Esmond-Evergreen Cemetery in Hale. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.bureshfuneralhomes.com.







On behalf of your auxiliary sisters, We want to send our condolences to Elizabeth's family. She was a great President at the American Legion 422 in Hale.
— Marlene and Dennis Polishak
So sorry for your loss. "Aunt Betty" was always a "hoot". Every time we went "up north" we always had to stop at Lumberman's Monument. We have a picture of her while she was working there (with Mark) on one of our trips through. We always enjoyed getting her yearly Christmas card/letter each year. Thinking of you all.
— Mark & Kim Putnam
Our sincere sympathy to the family of Aunt Betty. She will be missed. May memories of her always keep your hearts warm...
Love, Mary J and Dave
— Mary J McClurg
My thoughts and prayers are with the Timmer family! Sorry for your loss.
— Carol King
Goodbye, Mom..... I hope that you have fair winds and following seas. You are in our thoughts... Love you, Lance
— Lance Timmer
We didn't always agree on politics, but we loved and admired Betty for her activism! She was a fine DAR member, as were her sisters. It was always a joy to hear from her after she moved away from this area. You have my sympathy in our loss.
— Rae McCready

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