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Betty's Story

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Betty Ann (Kaelin) Stemle died Friday morning at her home. She was 85.

Betty was born June 2, 1932, the only child of Claud and Clara Kaelin, whom she adored. Betty grew up on Joe Davis Avenue in Clarksville near the present-day Colgate clock and attended George Rogers Clark Elementary School and Jeffersonville High School, where she played trombone in the band. She was active with the Class of 1950 Reunion Committee for many years.

She attended Hanover University and worked at the old Goodyear plant near Charlestown, where she met the love of her life, Robert Joseph (Mainie) Stemle. They married on Aug. 22, 1953, at St. Marys Catholic Church in New Albany and remained a much-admired couple for 61 years.

Betty became a savvy homemaker and raised three children in the days when families ate together at the dinner table. She was an excellent cook and seamstress. She was a longtime member of the Floral Garden Club, including multiple terms as president, and won many blue ribbons for flower arrangements created for competitions between local clubs. She also coordinated the twice-yearly Beechwood Manor yard sale for more than a quarter-century.

She was a longtime member of Sigma Phi Gamma. She later worked as a Realtor for the old River Hills Realty and Schuler-Bauer Realty. She loved playing bridge and leaves behind several bridge buddies.

Betty was kind and creative with a wry sense of humor and a subtly mischievous side. She had an eye for contemporary design and a keen sense of style. Her girlfriends, most of whom survive, called her Liz, after the beautiful actress Elizabeth Taylor. Her friends also often commented about her inner beauty. Betty was generous, classy and eminently decent.

She never embraced the digital world but was the catalog queen and the consummate shopper. She loved the hunt for that perfect item and ultimately found it almost every time, usually at a bargain price. And Christmas at Bettys house was legendary. She took great joy in finding just the right gifts for each of her loved ones.

In 1991, Betty was shot in an attempted robbery at the old K Mart in Clarksville. Despite serious and lingering injuries, she went on to live a rich, prosperous life. She was the proud grandmother of Brandon and Jessica Strange and Kaelin Cash, and great-grandmother of Ashton and Reece McKee, and Graham and Caroline Strange.

Betty was preceded in death by her husband and daughters Lisa Katherine and Jennifer Sue. She is survived by daughters Judy Strange of Clarksville and Angela Cash (Michael) of Greenwood, Ind.; son Cary (Andrea Wasson Stemle) of Clarksville; her beloved dog, Dyna(mite); and many Maloney girls who were like the sister she never had.

The five Stemles were a close-knit unit who collaborated on everything, and Betty and Bobs careful and loving teachings will live on through their progeny. The Stemle family offers its deepest gratitude to Bettys caregivers in recent years: Paula Lopp, Judy DeWitt, George and Tonya Browning, and Renee Velasquez. A special mention is also in order for Ronnie Gardner, who took care of Bettys lawn and garden. Betty was sad that she could no longer apply her loving touch to that garden.

Betty Stemle loved color, and she left an indelible mark on her family and friends and will be greatly missed.

Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Monday at Coots Funeral Home, with a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Anthonys Catholic Church, where she was a longtime member.

The family requests that any donations in Betty Stemles be given to St. Anthonys School or Providence High School.

Online condolence may be made at cootsfuneralhome.com
Published on November 19, 2017
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