Betty Jean Sjogren
Betty Jean Sjogren
  • July 7, 1928 - March 30, 2017
  • Lincoln, Nebraska

Share This Obituary

Betty Jean Sjogren passed away on March 30, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

She was born in Omaha, Nebraska on July 7, 1928 to Swedish immigrants John Ivar Hultman and Margaret Ruth Cronstrom. She attended Columbian Grade School, Omaha Central High School and Luther College in Wahoo. She met a young UNMC medical student, Merle Sjogren, in 1946 and married a year a later in Omaha.

They moved to Portland, Oregon while Merle completed his residency. After the birth of their first child in 1948, they were commissioned as missionaries and set off for 6 month stay in London where Merle studied tropical medicine. For the next 5 years they served on mission stations in Machame and Kiomboi, Tanzania, East Africa. Two daughters were added to the family. Betty loved Tanzania its people, its culture and its beauty. In 1953 they returned by ship to the USA and back to Omaha where another daughter was born. Here the family lived for 30 years except for 3 years in Abilene, Texas while Merle was a major in the USAF serving as a flight surgeon at Dyess Air Force Base. In 1986 Richard Young Hospital opened a new facility in Kearney, Nebraska. Merle and Betty moved as Merle continued his psychiatry practice. They enjoyed the 7 years they lived in Kearney. In 1992 Betty and Merle retired to Lincoln.

Wherever Betty was planted she volunteered in the community. She was enthusiastic and dedicated to the task she would set out to accomplish. In Omaha she served as an officer and member of Lutheran Medical Center Distaffs (loved working on the First Ladies Dolls committee dressed dolls in the Inaugural gown of each Nebraska Governors wife on display in the Governor’s Mansion in Lincoln), the Service Guild of LMC, the Auxiliaries of Immanuel, Methodist and Clarkson Hospitals and UNMC Faculty Women’s Club. She was a charter member of Mobile Meals that became Meals on Wheels. She delivered meals for many years while living in Omaha and later in Lincoln. She was an active member and volunteer at Augustana Lutheran Church in Omaha, First Lutheran Church in Kearney and Southwood Lutheran Church in Lincoln. During her life she was active in P.T.A., Girl Scouts, Sewing Circles, PEO (FN in Kearney and FF in Lincoln) and the Betty Club of Nebraska.

Betty lovingly cared for her home and family. She was a wonderful mom and loved being a grand and great grandmother. She was proud to say she was a homemaker in every way. She was an artistic craftswoman in fiber and cuisine. Her creative energy inspired those around her. She was open, caring and thoughtful of others. She easily made friends wherever she lived. She was loyal and supportive to her friends. Betty and Merle loved to travel and they visited many parts of the world. She loved music and loved to sing. She always believed in the best of people and had a positive attitude toward life. Betty was a woman of Faith.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Dr. Merle E. Sjogren.

Survivors include: Sisters: Vernelle Case Borchman of Omaha, Marilyn Roberts of Lake Oswego, Oregon; children: Mark (Chris) Sjogren of Omaha, Barbara Sjogren of Brooklyn, New York, Sue (Tom) Tallman of Lincoln, Linda Sjogren (Barry Hirshorn) of Honolulu, Hawaii; 14 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.

Memorial Services: 11:00 a.m. Monday, (04/03/17), Southwood Lutheran Church, 4301 Wilderness Hills Blvd, Lincoln, NE 68516

Visitation with the family: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday (04/02/17) at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to Meals on Wheels, Tabitha Hospice or Southwood Lutheran Church