Elizabeth "Betty" (1927 - 2006)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Kapfer, Rowe, Pepper, Wooden, Krueger, Kissling, Murphy
----Sources: Clark County Press (Neillsville, WI) August 9, 2006
-Kapfer, Elizabeth "Betty" (June 18, 1927 - August 7, 2006)
Betty Kapfer, age 79, passed away August 7, 2006 after a battle with cancer, and anyone who knew her, knows she put up a good fight.
Betty was born in Milton, WI, June 18, 1927 to George Everett and Irma (Rowe) Pepper. After living in the Milton-Janesville area for the first few years of her life, she moved with her parents and four siblings to Illinois, first to West Chicago, then Wheaton, and finally Glen Ellyn. In 1939, the movie version of THE FIVE LITTLE PEPPERS AND HOW THEY GREW came to a Glen Ellyn movie theater. Because there were "five little Peppers" in her family, Betty and her sisters and brothers were treated to a free showing of the movie including a chauffeured ride, candy treats and a trip to the ice cream parlor following the movie. The event as recorded by a Chicago newspaper.
In the early 1940’s the Pepper family again moved, this time to Neillsville, where Betty and her sisters and friends spent a lot of time roller skating in Hatfield and at the Armory in Neillsville, Wis. After graduating from Neillsville High School in 1945, Betty, or "Pep" as she was known, went to the teachers college in Eau Claire getting her two year degree in teaching. She began her teaching career at three of the rural one room schools in the Neillsville/Granton area. As the one room schools began to close, Betty started working with Social Services in Clark County.
In June, 1948 Betty Pepper married Leon Kapfer at the Methodist Church in Neillsville, Wis. They had two children, Jerri and Jack. In 1957 the Kapfer family packed up and moved to Janesville, where Betty again put her teaching skills to work in the Clinton Consolidated School district. There she was principal and taught the 7th and 8th grades. Betty and Leon divorced a few years later.
Betty was a passionate needle worker. And because of her prodigious teaching and creative work, was considered an expert in knitting, crocheting, needle pointing, tatting, quilting, sewing and bobbin lace. She spent many hours designing and creating valuable heirlooms for herself and others.
She also spent decades researching and cataloguing the Pepper and Rowe families. Betty’s efforts have resulted in volumes of genealogical records on both, the Peppers and Rowes as well as the various branches of their families. Her research included travels around the United States and the United Kingdom.
Betty is survived by her children, Jerri Kapfer, of Sorenson, Hillsboro, WI; Jack Kapfer, of Eau Clarie; Orissa (Scott) Wooden of Janesville; grandchildren, Chad Krueger, of Appleton; Ashlie, Krystal, and Kaitlynn Wooden, all of Janesville; siblings, Jane (Ernest) Kissling, of Neillsville; Shirley (Willie) Murphy, of Sycamore, IL; Allen (Loreeta) Pepper, of Rapid City, SD; and Wayne (Barbara) Pepper, of Janesville. She will also be greatly missed by her English pen pal of 60 years, Margaret Higgins.
Betty’s family wants to express a very special thank you to Pam Koker and Barb Pepper who have helped them tremendously during this difficult time.
Pallbearers are Scott Wooden, Chad Krueger, Willie Murphy, DuWayne and David Pepper, and Dale Pepper. Honorary pallbearers are Wayne and Allen Pepper.
Contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or Mercy Assisted Care Hospice.
Funeral services will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday August 10, at the Whitcomb-Lynch Albrecht Funeral Home, 15 N. Jackson St. in Janesville, WI.
Visitation will be on Thursday from 1:30 p.m. until the time of service at the funeral home.
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