Gilson, Rebecca
Rebecca "Betty" or "Becky" Gilson died peacefully at the HospiceCare Center on Saturday, June 27, 2009, surrounded by her family. She was born on June 5, 1919, in Auburndale, the daughter of Reuben and Joyce Connor. Betty received a BS degree in Home Economics from the University of Wisconsin in 1939. She gave her time and energy to many organizations including the Dane County chapter of the American Red Cross, the Arboretum, the PEO and the AAUW. She was proud of working the polls every election she could and had been active in the Republican Party. Betty possessed an avid and lifelong passion for the natural world which she shared with her children and grandchildren. She created a beautiful rock garden on North Franklin Avenue, well-known and loved by neighbors. Betty was a veteran world traveler, visiting every continent at least once, and enjoyed sharing her travels with the community. She frequently traveled with her daughters and their families, and joined her daughter, Mary on Earthwatch trips and other scientific research expeditions. Betty was fascinated by animals, particularly giraffes, and contributed to the building of the new giraffe house at the Henry Vilas Zoo, which she loved to visit. The list of people whom she taught to drive, cook, sew, knit, read, garden and think rationally and reasonably are too numerous to mention here, but we know who we are and are forever grateful, both for the skill sets and the memories. Betty was preceded in death by her husband of many years, Dr. Warren E. Gilson; her sister, Gene McGuire of Shawano; her brother, Roger Connor of Akron, Ohio; and her daughter, Kathy (Peter) Lovance of Hartland. She is survived by sisters, Mary Taylor of Rockford, Ill., Joyce Bethke of Madison, and Sarah Connor of Waukesha. She is also survived by her daughter, Mary (Bruce) Feay of Naperville, Ill., her son, Robert (Sharon) Gilson of Middleton; grandchildren, Molly Gilson, Elizabeth Lovance, Daniel Gilson, and Mich Lovance; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was well-loved by all who knew her and will be greatly missed. Her family wishes to thank the staff at Capitol Lakes Retirement Center, Meriter Hospital, and HospiceCare for all of their efforts and kindness. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Betty's memory to the Chapter V P.E.O. Scholarship Fund and the University of Wisconsin Allen Centennial Gardens. A time of sharing and fellowship will be held at GUNDERSON WEST FUNERAL HOME, at 7435 University Avenue in Middleton from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30, 2009.


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