Betty Jean Avant – Rochester Post Bulletin


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Betty Jean Avant passed away on September 15 2022 at the of 82, in Rochester MN.
Betty was born on February 8, 1940, in Minneapolis, MN, to Jean and Einer Jensen. Betty graduated from Washburn High School in Minneapolis in 1958. That year she enrolled at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. She stayed at Gustavus for one year before transferring to the University of Minnesota where she completed her degree in Education. Here she met Robert “Bob” Avant, who was attending Medical School at the University of Minnesota. They were married on December 28, 1962. After Bob graduated from Medical School they lived in San Bernadino, California; Grand Forks, North Dakota; and Golden Valley, Minnesota. In the summer of 1977, Betty and Bob, along with their three sons, moved to Rochester. Here they lived for nearly 15 years before moving to Lexington, Kentucky. After Bob retired, they split their time between their home in Bonita Springs, Florida, and the cabin they had on Lake Owen in Cable, Wisconsin since 1969. In 2017 they purchased a home back in Rochester, not far from where Bob and Betty had raised their three sons.
Betty was a people-person. She was genuinely interested in learning as much as possible about everyone she met. She kept in touch with friends dating all the way back to her childhood in Minneapolis, with many long phone calls to catch up with her friends and always sending birthday cards to friends and relatives. She was a “bonus” mom to many of the friends and cousins of her three sons. Betty enjoyed gardening, golfing, ice skating, bird watching, and knitting. She also loved taking their two family dogs, Taffy and Bear, for walks around the neighborhood. Betty was part owner of The Whiffletree, a knitting store located across from St. Mary’s Hospital on 2nd Street in Rochester, where she met many people with similar interests. Betty also truly enjoyed her time at the family cabin on Lake Owen, whether it was time on the boat, preparing family meals, or playing games like Yahtzee with her family.
Betty is survived by her husband Bob Avant (married 59 and 1⁄2 years), sons Paul, Greg (Shawn), and Todd (Courtenay), five grandchildren (Lexi, Jameson, Tommi, Chloe, and Lucy) and one great-grandchild, Paisley.
The Memorial Service for Betty will be held at 11:00 am on Friday September 23, 2022, at Zumbro Lutheran Church in Rochester. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Betty donated to many charitable organizations and causes throughout her life. Therefore, in lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to the charity of your choice in Betty’s honor.
Online condolences are welcome at www.mackenfuneralhome.com
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