Betty B. Wise - Memorial Service Details Added Obituary

Betty B.  Wise - Memorial Service Details Added
Betty B. Wise - Memorial Service Details Added

January 17, 1927 - March 5, 2021
Born in Indianola, Iowa
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa


Betty Bartholow Wise, 94, passed away on March 5, 2021 at home at Scottish Rite Park in Des Moines, Iowa. Born on January 17, 1927 to Harriett L. and Orville R. Bartholow in Indianola, Betty also lived in Corning and Perry before moving to Des Moines in 1943.

Betty attended North High School where she met her husband, Jim. They were high school sweethearts, graduating in 1945 and marrying on May 29, 1949. They were a couple for 75 years and married for nearly 72.

After high school, Betty joined The Travelers Insurance Company and assumed increasing responsibilities as the company grew. She was proud of her role in the expanding company and worked there for 11 years. She was also diligent in her support of Jim as he pursued advanced degrees in his chosen field of education.

Betty loved her family dearly and was a devoted wife, mother, grandma and “Gaga” to six great grandchildren. She cherished each and every one of the special times spent together including multi-generational lake vacations; traditional holiday celebrations, where she had a gift for serving the most beautiful meals prepared to perfection; and the pool parties she hosted at Scottish Rite Park to celebrate special milestones or just watch her family have fun. She loved to sew and crochet, making beautiful clothes and blankets and even winning a blue ribbon or two at the Iowa State Fair for her lovely designs.

Betty was passionate about making a difference in the community and was deeply invested in serving those who needed it most. She was president of the Des Moines Area Religious Council and served on the Homes of Oakridge board of directors during times of intense political, cultural and social unrest. She had a gift for listening and leading, finding common ground and successfully navigating difficult times and change. She was also actively involved in PTA - first, at the local level, followed by leadership roles on the state and national boards of directors.

Betty loved the arts and served Civic Music Association in many roles, including board president. She was proud to welcome many world-renowned artists to Des Moines for the community to enjoy. She and Jim enjoyed spending Sunday afternoons with the Des Moines Symphony and attending Broadway productions at the Civic Center.

In 1975, Betty began a 30-year career as a legislative secretary in the Iowa Senate, supporting both majority and minority leadership. In 1977, Betty and Jim became actively involved in Friendship Force International, an organization dedicated to global understanding and peace. They were fully committed to the organization’s mission: A World of Friends is a World of Peace. Betty and Jim traveled the world as Friendship Force ambassadors and Betty served the organization’s Des Moines chapter as president. Together, they spent 17 years extending the hand of friendship around the world.

Betty loved her beautiful Beaverdale Brick Tudor and the charm of the neighborhood, the dear friends she made there, the holiday lights and luminaries, community celebrations and Saturday burgers at Christopher’s. She and Jim were part of the neighborhood for 47 years.

Left to cherish Betty’s memory are her daughter, Nancy Doll; grandchildren Evan (Andrea) Doll and Mackenzie (Tim) Nichols; and six great-grandchildren: Corbin, Madden, Jenner and Elliet Doll; and Emmit and Clyde Nichols. Betty treasured lifelong friendships from her high school days and made many more enduring friendships in their beloved Beaverdale neighborhood, through her years of volunteerism, as a member of PEO’s IZ Chapter, during the years of Jim’s service in public education and through their travels around the world. This was a life well-lived and Betty will be dearly missed by her family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Carol Ann.

The family gratefully extends its deep appreciation to the staff at Scottish Rite Park and to Betty’s care team from Home Instead for the compassionate care and loving support they provided.

Betty was a member of Plymouth Congregational Church and was honored to serve as a church deacon and in many other capacities.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30AM, Thursday, July 15, 2021 at Plymouth Congregational Church.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Betty may consider a memorial gift to the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) or the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines’ Better Together Fund.

Arrangements by Iles Dunn's Chapel.




Memorial Service
Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ
4126 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312
Thursday, July 15, 2021
10:30 AM