Mary Ellen’s Eulogy

EULOGY for BETTE

Bette was a very dear friend of mine.

She came into my life in 1980,…on the first day of the 96th New Jersey State Police academy.  We met, and found out that we had grown up, not one mile away from each other.  Even played in the same playground, but had never met…….we’ve been friends since.

During Bette’s career with the State Police ,  she always went above and beyond  whatever  her  job required.

She went back to school…nights, days, weekends…until she earned her Masters degree. ..while working… and  still managed to keep in touch with classmates.  She took it upon herself to plan… and keep our “yearly class reunion”                     a tradition. (she planned,… made all the calls and e-mails)

During her role as a friend, she always went above and beyond…to be there…and to help when needed.  Or to just be there to hang out

As my friend, she supported me through several illnesses… with emotional support …and lots of prayers.     As I was recovering, Bette was very encouraging and pushed me to get up and out in the world again.  She was ALWAYS there for me. She gave ME…hope and inspiration  when I needed it.

Bette was also fun to hang out with. It was always an adventure ,   whether it was finding a new hiking  trail , checking out a winery, picking up sea glass and seashells on the beach, and then making something out of it, or learning how to make stained- glass windows.     She wanted to take in as much of life as she could           and she did.

 

She had a successful career, marriage, family, and a slew of friends…..she touched many lives.  and she helped countless people.

No matter what your affiliation was with Bette, she connects us all,     through her values,   her gifts,   and her faith.

SHE IS NOW ON HER LAST PATROL…..

SHE RESPONDED TO GOD’S CALL.

AMEN

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Richard’s Eulogy

EULOGY FOR BETTE WELCH

MARCH 17, 2015, CHURCH OF THE ASSUMPTION

My name is Richard Sacher, and I am Bette’s oldest brother. Matt has asked me to share a few of my family memories of Bette, with all of you.

I was 13 years old, and we were living in Jersey City, when Bettylou was born. Bette was named for her grandmothers, Eizabeth and Louise.

With four older brothers, Richard, Bobby, Tommy and Jerry,  Bette was destined to learn very quickly how to compete with all the boys in the house. Looking back now, I can see that this was a powerful influence on her as she grew into a young adult. Bette was still a baby when we left Jersey City for the country…and we moved to Sayreville, N.J.

As a child, Bette could be very fussy about what foods she would eat, and I often could not get her to drink her orange juice. One day I decided to pour her orange juice into a tall beer glass, topped off with a nice thick head of whipped eggwhites. That did the trick…as long as the juice looked like that tall glass of beer that Dad always enjoyed, Bette would drink it.

This brilliant deception backfired badly when Bette was being evaluated for entrance into first grade. When the psychologist asked Bette, “What do you do with an egg?”, Bette answered, “You put it in orange juice.” This was why Bette flunked her first grade entrance exam, and thanks to me, was held back for a year. I have been hearing complaints about this ever since!

I soon graduated from St Mary’s High School in South Amboy, and I left home to enter a monastery to become a Trappist monk. After four years of Latin and Greek, singing and praying, theology and scripture, I returned home to begin college at Rutgers where I majored in horticulture. By this time, Bette was a young teenager.

I remember how every Christmas, when I would drive out to the woods in search of a Christmas tree, Bette would beg to go along. We would find a suitable spruce or juniper tree to cut down…and Bette always wanted to have the last few swings of the axe, so SHE could make the tree fall to the ground. Our house had cathedral ceilings, but the trees were always too big, and we struggled to get them home.

When Bette was in high school, she managed to get a summer job pumping gas at a service station. It was on route 9, near Peterpank diner. I remember thinking that this was a very odd job for a girl to have.

Later on, Bette was working at Eli Lily Company, in the packaging department. When she found out that the forklift drivers were making a lot more money than she was (and THEY were sitting down all day, too!) Bette insisted in applying for that job…and she got it.

I was finished with college and living in New Orleans when I found out that Bette had been chosen for the very first, all female class at the training academy for the New Jersey State Police.

I remember thinking: Uh-oh…Bette chops down trees; she pumps gas at a service station; she drives a forklift in a warehouse; and now, she wants to be a cop! It was becoming clear to me…my sister is gay!

Well, obviously, I was confused. As it turned out, I was the one who was gay…and Bette…well, she always knew how to have fun, but still, she was one tough cookie!

I came home for Bette’s graduation from the academy, and I still remember the surreal conversation we were having around the family table: what kind of off duty gun would she need? Which bullet proof vest was better…the Last Chance, or the Point Blank? And what about that billyclub…the one with the built-in flash light? I overheard my Father on the phone, saying, “My oldest son wants to play with flowers…my only daughter wants to be a cop…what did I do wrong?”

Graduation Day at the academy was amazing! A Female recruit was rappelling from a helicopter. Others were demonstrating their martial arts, disarming assailants. Bette was leading her group in vigorous calisthenics and pushups. These 30 women had proven they could take whatever rigorous training the academy demanded of them, and not only survive, but excel in all of it.

But more importantly, by joining the state police, Bette was introduced to Matt Welch.

I remember their wedding. Our dad was gone by then, so I had the honor of giving Bette away. Bette and I were standing in the vestibule in the back of the church, ready to begin our walk down the aisle. She was so nervous, I could hardly believe it. After all, she and Matt had loved each other and lived together for eight years already. She was trying to compose herself, without much success. To help relieve the tension, I started telling her some naughty jokes, all of which are completely inappropriate in a church…and in most other places, too. Bette started to laugh, and finally said, “Okay, Let’s go..but keep those jokes coming.” We start down the aisle, and I whisper, “So, Bette, did you hear about the new obscene breakfast cereal, called prostituties?” That did it. We giggled and laughed our way down the aisle, until we reached Matt at the altar.

On one of Bette and Matt’s many visits to New Orleans, this one almost 25 years ago now, they helped me and my business partner Bill stock the shelves of our brand new gift shop. There were visits for Mardi Gras, for Jazz Fest, for time at our beach house in Mississippi. There were visits for no special occasion at all.

It was only a few months ago that Bette and her friend Jody were visiting us in New Orleans. We did some sight  seeing, and then Kevin and I took them to dinner at our favorite restaurant, Muriel’s, on Jackson Square. We had a great evening together, and later that night, Bette called us, all excited. “Guess what was in our hotel room when we checked in…a beautiful picture of the restaurant where we just had dinner…Muriel’s on Jackson Square!”

We are so proud of Bette’s fellow troopers, her cherished friends all these years…especially those women who from the very beginning, were her comrades in arms…right until the end. We are so thankful for Jennifer, David and Ann, who have been angels of comfort to Bette and Matt, and to everyone around them.

All our lives, yours and ours, have connected with Bette in random tangents of time and place, over many years. It is safe to say that many of you know her better, and love her, just as much as we do.

We thank all of you for gathering with us today to celebrate the wonderful life of Bette Welch.

Mass

Family and friends came from all reaches to attend the services for Betty Lou. Many of you made a great effort to do so, and it was very touching that you did. Thank you!

Someone requested the eulogy of Bette & Matt’s neighbor, Michael, I’ve added it below.

May the days ahead be kind to everyone, and may your memories of Betty Lou keep you smiling!

Ann

Good morning, my name is Michael Labrum and for the past 17 years my family, as well many more in Trotter’s Ridge and all of North Hanover for that matter, have had the good fortune to have had Mattie and Bette for neighbors. I would like to share a few memories of these 17 years–not so much from my perspective but from that of the children that grew up with them in the neighborhood.

 

Many families were lucky to have “shared” their children with the Welch’s- the Caiafa’s and Manuccia’s, the Berben’s and the Butlers, the Warracks and the Larkins, the Pattersons, Hills, Moscatiellos, O’Dells and Meehans and they, in turn, shared their “children”, their dogs Timber, Randy, Jake and Yuki with us.  

 

When the Welch’s first moved in, Julia, Melissa and Max “the welcoming crew” were overjoyed to learn that the new neighbors had dogs; in fact, all the neighborhood kids played with them constantly, running with them in their yard, playing fetch, rough housing, running through sprinklers; making themselves at home on the Welch’s deck.

Julia recently reminded me that Randy refused to come off the deck after Timber had passed; so the deck became the new de-facto play area.  On other occasions–many other occasions—my son Joseph and his buddy Max would run around in their underwear, sometimes with capes and Bette would call them Superman and the Caped Crusader.  A couple years later, my daughter was very sad when they put in a fence. When Julia asked Bette why they had put a fence up, she told her, “Julia, we put in a fence to keep our dogs in, not to keep you out”.

 

Speaking of dogs–and I was reminded at last night’s memorial service that Dog spelled backward is God–I have a quick joke and given that it’s St. Paddy’s Day, I’ll embellish a bit:


Muldoon lived alone in the Irish countryside with only a pet dog for company. One day, sadly, the dog died and Muldoon went to the parish priest and asked, “Father, my dog has died. Could ya’ be saying a mass for the poor wee creature?”

Father Patrick replied, “I’m afraid not. We cannot have services for an animal in church. But there are some Baptists down the lane and there’s no tellin’ what they believe. Maybe they’ll do something for the creature.” Muldoon said, “I’ll go right away Father. Do ya’ think $5,000 is enough to donate for the service?” Father Patrick exclaimed, “Sweet Mary, Mother of Jesus! Why didn’t ya’ tell me the dog was Catholic?”


 

Last evening one of the many children that grew up with Bette, Christina Caiafa, made the following post on her Facebook page–I think this sums up the feelings that many of our children have for Bette:

 

“When you grow up in a neighborhood like Trotters Ridge, it’s more than next door neighbors; it’s family. You grow up with ten extra sets of Moms and Dads and 20 extra siblings. They’re all there for you, no matter what, for the good times as well as the bad. They watch you grow up, keep you out of trouble, and they’re there every step of the way. Tomorrow, we say goodbye to one who has gone away too soon. We’ll always remember how happy you always were and how you always made the best of every situation. Your attitude was contagious and you were loved by so many. RIP–We’ll see you one day.”

 

Mattie, thank you for sharing Bette with us. She was always there for us with her big smile and her big heart. We will always remember her and we will always be there for you. We love both of you.

Information Regarding Funeral Services

Elizabeth L. “Bette” Welch, age 61, of North Hanover passed away Friday, March 13 at the Samaritan Inpatient Hospice Center in Mt. Holly.  Born in Jersey City and raised in Sayreville, she was a resident of North Hanover for the past 17 years and was formerly of Westampton.

 

Bette retired from the New Jersey State Police with the rank of Captain in 2005 after 25 years of service.  She most recently was the Bureau Chief with the NJSP Bureau of Identification in West Trenton.  She received her Master’s degree in Educational Supervision from Seton Hall University.  Bette was a parishioner at the Church of the Assumption. She enjoyed reading and crafts, especially stained glass and pottery.  She loved the beach and (recently) golfing, and she took great joy in planning parties and special events for friends, family, and colleagues. She was an active member of the executive board of the Former New Jersey Troopers Association.

 

Bette was predeceased by her parents, Henry and Katherine Sacher.  She is survived by her husband of 27 years, Matthew M. Welch (NJSP Retired); four brothers, Richard Sacher and partner Kevin Joyce of New Orleans, LA; Bobby Sacher of East Brunswick, NJ; Tom Sacher and wife Candy of Longwood, FL;and Jerry Sacher and wife Maureen of Hazlet, NJ. Bette is also survived by her four nieces and a nephew, Jennifer Sacher and husband David Marshall (Lansdowne, PA); Andrew Sacher and fiancée Kim Helmick (Barnwell, SC); Shannon Sacher and fiancé Justin Muenker (Longwood, FL); Meagan Sacher of (New York City); and Caitlin Sacher of (San Francisco, CA), as well as her devoted goddaughter, Ann Nioche (New York City), and beloved aunt, Sister Bette Cawley, IHM, and beloved dogs, Yuki and Jake.

 

A Mass of Christian Burial for Bette will be held on Tuesday, March 17 at 11:00 AM at the Church of the Assumption, 28 Monmouth Road (Route 537), Wrightstown, NJ 08562.  Visitations will be on Monday, March 16 from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 PM and again on Tuesday morning from 10:00 to 11:00 AM at the church.

 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Bette’s memory may be made to the Burlington County Animal Shelter, 15 Pioneer Blvd., Westampton, NJ 08060.

 

Arrangements are under the direction of the TilghmanFuneral Home in New Egypt (http://www.tilghmanfh.com). 

Betty Lou

Dear Team Bette Family, 

Bette is not the name I call my first cousin-once removed, I call her Betty Lou. She has been called many names to many different people over the years. She has had many roles, and been given many titles, as well, but she will forever remain my Betty Lou.

It is with great sadness that I tell you of her passing last night. She was in the loving hands of her caretakers, and with a friend by her side. 

May we all bask in the goodness , warmth and love, that our Betty Lou has extended to us. May we continue to support Matt, and the rest of the Team Bette family, going forward. 

Betty Lou, we love you! 

XO, 

Ann

Family & Friends

Dear Family & Friends, 

This week has been  a difficult one, but all of you have managed to pull off an an award-winning show of support for Bette & Matt. 

Bette is being cared for by an amazing staff, and has had constant companionship/care since her transition to the hospice setting. Never before have they seen so many visitors for one person! 

The line has been completely blurred between family and friends, and we’re one big family now! 

Team Bette supporters deserve a big hug for their role in helping Bette & Matt in this difficult time. 

A big shout out to Bette’s NJ Trooper class for taking on 227 Chestnut Drive! The house sparkles! 

May Bette be made as comfortable as possible, and may she feel all the love we have for her! May Matt continue to be strong, and feel the brace of our support through this difficult transition. 

XO, 

Ann

Transition

Dear Friends  & Family,

Bette did not have surgery after all. Her doctors didn’t think it was in her best interest. 

She left the hospital today, and has transitioned to a hospice facility.

Please continue to send your well wishes and prayers. 

XO, 

Ann