Elizabeth Ann Spaight (Bettie), peacefully left this life on March 9th, 2019 in Cedar Rapids. She was born on February 24, 1929 in Dubuque, Iowa. Her early life took an immediate turn at 3 years of age when her mother, Lorraine Rauch, died. Her father, Norbert Rauch, was grief stricken. Bettie was sent to live with her grandparents, Will and Elizabeth Rauch, in Dubuque. Bettie stayed with her grandparents until her marriage.
Bettie graduated from Dubuque Senior High and from Clark College, Dubuque with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. After spending a summer semester at the San Francisco Art Academy, she began a lifelong love of the arts, music and theatre.
Bettie married Paul Spaight in 1951. He was a graduate of Loras College in Dubuque. While Paul was employed in the insurance industry as an adjustor, Bettie developed her career as a commercial artist. Decades before computer graphics, Bettie was designing posters, award certificates, fashion billboards, business cards, menus and advertising logos. She was employed as a senior designer and an artist at the Cedar Rapids Board of Education for ten years. She had a fully equipped art studio in her home. Here, she produced all types of art pieces and design. She was a long-time member of the Creative Artists of Iowa and belonged to the Iowa Scribes Calligraphy Guild. Bettie particularly enjoyed calligraphy and was prolific in creating framed pieces with beautiful matting, original art and hand printed phrases.
She was involved with the theatre productions of The Follies for 20 years. Bettie was instrumental in designing, painting and building their sets. She derived great satisfaction, seeing the productions come to life.
Bettie was key in designing her house of 48 years on the west side of Cedar Rapids. She had impeccable taste and created a showcase home. She had a lovely garden and enjoyed cooking and experimenting with recipes.
Bettie was a fine seamstress, honing her skills to the level of tailoring. She made and wore many of her own clothes. With an eye toward perfection, Bettie made her daughters prom dresses and many of their special occasion outfits.
Bettie loved opera and often traveled to the Metropolitan Opera performances in Minneapolis. One could always hear classical music playing in her home. She was a regular supporter of Orchestra Iowa, buying season tickets and attending well into her 80’s, even during the worst of weather.
Bettie was a devout Catholic her entire life. She was a member of St. Patrick’s Church in Cedar Rapids and later, St. Jude’s. She was very active in her church community. She loved singing in the church choir and she helped decorate the altar for various holidays and festivities during the year.
Bettie was a formidable bridge player and belonged to many bridge clubs. Her favorite board game was Scrabble. She was unbeatable.
Bettie will be remembered as a beautiful woman, a kind and loving mother and grandmother, dedicated to her family. She enriched her family’s life in countless ways. She will be alive in our memory and missed by those who knew and loved her. Bettie’s life is truly one to celebrate.
She is survived by her three daughters, Paula Marie Spaight (Gary Buker), Carrie Anne Fitzpatrick (Jeff), Sarah Lorraine Hauschild (Steve), two half-sisters Karen Elmer and Jan Ely, two grandchildren Jane Fitzpatrick Armbrecht (Kyle) and Tom Fitzpatrick, and many nieces and nephews.
Bettie is preceded in death by her father Norbert Rauch, and his second wife, Jeanette, mother Lorraine, two half-brothers Wayne Rauch and Ronald Rauch, and her husband of 49 years, Paul.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy for their loving and compassionate care.
Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30am on Wednesday, March 13th at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Cedar Rapids. A visitation will be held on Tuesday, March 12th from 4 – 7pm at Cedar Memorial Chapel State Room and at 9:30 at the church on Wednesday. The Rev. Father Ivan Nienhaus will officiate.
Memorials may be given in her name to the Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy, 315 18th Ave, Hiawatha, IA 52233.