Rochelle — Betty E. Brickl, 78, passed away peacefully on Friday, May 15, 2020 with her husband and daughters by her side.
Betty was born on Sept. 28, 1941 in Portage, Wisconsin, to Burton and Leah (Freeland) Higley. She married Leon Brickl on May 6, 1960 and they just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. She made Illinois her home for the last 58 years.
Betty was raised on a farm in Poynette, Wisconsin. She had fond memories of her childhood with her parents and eight siblings, forming a close bond, which she would maintain for the rest of her life.
She was a proud graduate of Poynette High School and enjoyed attending her class reunions. As times progressed, she took computer classes at Kishwaukee College to keep up with changes in her job and the new way to keep in touch with family and friends.
Employed with and retired from AG Communication System in Genoa, after 38 years of service and regularly met for breakfast with the group she worked with.
She loved a good joke or prank and had so many stories she couldn’t wait to share. She wanted everyone to be a part of any comical situation. Betty stayed connected with family and friends through Facebook. You could never disappear without her finding you.
Family ancestry was important to Betty. There were countless hours of research and documentation, creating a wealth of reference material, in which she loved to share with everyone, ie. connecting the Higleys with the song, “Home On the Range.”
She could yell as loud as any other fan when her Green Bay Packers were playing.
Betty was a talented and crafty woman, making everything from early day sock monkeys, fancy Easter baskets, to Willie warmers. Halloween was her time to shine, creating detailed costumes that would always get the approval from anyone who saw them. Crocheting was her passion. She was well known for her tablecloths, gifting many of her beautiful and elaborate creations to hosts and loved ones across the U.S. and as far away as Scotland and Norway.
Betty is survived by her husband, Leon, of Rochelle; two children, Valorie Chandler of Amboy, and Chris McCaffrey of Monmouth; six grandchildren, Nicole (AJ) Gigler of Littleton, Colorado, Trenton Chandler of Amboy, Whitnie McCaffrey of Dixon, Laurin (Dee) Hankins of Heyworth, Patrick McCaffrey of Naperville, and Joseph McCaffrey of Davenport, Iowa; two great-grandchildren, Owen Smothers of Dixon, and Ellie Gigler of Littleton, Colorado; two siblings, Ray Higley of Portage, Wisconsin, and Judy (Chuck) Grotzke of Princeton, Wisconsin; sister-in-law, Ellen Jerrett of Baraboo, Wisconsin; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her son, Derek J. Brickl born Dec. 9, 1969; and six siblings.
She will be dearly missed.
Cremation care has been provided by the Unger-Horner Funeral Home. A memorial service at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Rochelle will be held at a later date with burial of cremated remains in St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery. Visit www.ungerhoner.com to sign the online guest book.