Betty Loesch: A generous life

Anyone who has spent any time at Mission House has come to know and love Betty Loesch. Friendly, generous, and faithful, Betty has lived in the San Mateo home for nearly a decade – long before it became our hospice house. She is a warm, positive presence.

Betty was born in 1910 in northern Michigan, where her parents owned a drugstore, a source of many happy memories. “The store had one showcase with school supplies. I’d practically empty the case giving it away to my friends… I always loved to give.”

She credits her generosity and positive outlook to her mother. When Betty was 10, her father died of pneumonia, and her mom – a nurse – raised their five children alone. She says, “My mother saw the best in everybody… only the best.”

Betty’s mom also shared with her a love and talent for baking. Betty’s mandel bread was very popular with her friends, and they urged her to take samples to a Nordstrom café. “They loved my cookies!” Betty says. “I would stay up all night baking them.”

Betty and her first husband, Maurice, had three children. When they were nearly grown, she married her second husband, Arthur, the love of her life. The two were married for more than 40 years, living in San Mateo and enjoying many international trips.

After Arthur passed away and Betty was no longer able to live alone, she moved to a care facility in San Mateo – the very home that became our Mission House.

She’s become a real presence in the house. “When she says something, you know that she’s thought about it,” says Direct Care Volunteer Tammy Kent. “And she is always so gracious.”

Deeply spiritual, Betty enjoys daily discussions with Mission House Spiritual Counselor Rev. Don Mulford. And she’s developed another special relationship: Princess, one of the two cats at Mission House, has adopted Betty.

Betty is a voracious reader, and looks forward to the books her granddaughter sends from North Carolina. And she treasures visits from her 84-year-old son Wally, who regularly drives up from his home in LA to visit.

When Betty’s health started to decline, in late 2016, she started hospice care, still at Mission House. She continues to share her warm smile and even small gifts with her caregivers.

“They really take such good care of me. Hospice is something special, isn’t it?”