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Madison - Elizabeth Post Ragotzkie passed away peacefully on Friday, July 29, 2022, three days short of her 97th birthday.
Betty was born on August 1, 1925, in Dumont, New Jersey, one of three children of Rebecca and John Post. Betty met her husband Bob Ragotzkie during WW2 and married in 1949. Betty graduated from Douglass College, part of Rutgers University, with a bachelor's degree in 1950. After Betty and Bob completed their undergraduate college programs, the couple moved to Madison, where Bob began his Ph.D. studies. Betty worked for several years at the Wisconsin state hygiene lab, before moving to Sapelo Island, Georgia, for Bob's work at the Marine Institute.
Betty and Bob moved back to Madison in the late 1950s, where Betty began her work as a full-time mom and homemaker for a son and two daughters. Betty was active in many organizations during her life. One of her longest tenures was with the Girl Scouts, she held many different positions with the local Blackhawk chapter, and she was also a Cub Scout den mother for a while. Betty and her family were long-time members of Westminster Church and then Heritage Congregational church. Betty loved bird watching and camping with her family all around the country, and she was a very talented cook and needlepoint artist.
As her children grew and moved on, Betty enjoyed traveling around the world, sometimes tagging along with Bob on work-related travels but often on educational trips (China, New Zealand, Poland). Betty also loved to ski and made many wonderful friends with the Madison Ski Club, with whom they went on many ski trips. Betty also loved to swim, swimming her age in laps at Ridgewood pool on her birthdays well into her 80s.
Betty and Bob built a cabin on the shore of Lake Michigan in Door County, and it was there where Betty emphasized the importance of protecting native plants and special landscapes through her involvement with the Ridges Sanctuary and the Nature Conservancy. In addition to her love of nature, Betty was a champion of civic involvement, always helping local candidates with campaigns, contributing to democratic causes and candidates, and volunteering as a poll worker for decades.
Betty was preceded in death by a brother John, a sister Joan, and her husband, Robert. She is survived by three children, Peter (Wendy), Kim (Paul), and Susan, two grandchildren, Austin (Kelsey) and Erin, and two great-grandchildren, Emma and Taylor. A gathering of family and friends will be held at a later date.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Services
3610 Speedway Road
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