Ann V Betchkal
August 30, 1936 – July 6, 2019
On July 6, 2019, Ann Vernon Betchkal, devoted wife and mother of two, died at age 82 at home with her children by her side. Ann was born August 30, 1936 to Stanley Vernon and Agnes (Duignam) Vernon in Racine, Wisconsin. In Racine, Ann spent her childhood and graduated St Catharine’s Catholic High School in 1954. While Attending St. Catherine’s High School, Ann met James (Jim) Betchkal) whom she married, June 23, 1956. In her youth Ann learned loss. Both her father and brother died before Ann was married.
Ann bore her first child, Janet, April 1957, in Racine. The family then moved to Chicago, Illinois, where she bore her second child, Mark, August 1958. In 1962, the family moved to the growing suburbs of Chicago, first to the village of Hoffman Estate, and then to Wilmette. While her children were still in grade school, Ann was a fulltime stay-at-home mother. But as soon as the kids were no longer returning home from school for lunch, Ann returned to school and received a Master’s in Education, from the University of Illinois ─ Chicago Circle Campus, in 1975. Shortly thereafter the family moved to Washington DC. Ann was immediately employed by Fairfax County Schools as a Learning Disabilities Resources Teacher/Diagnostician. It was a career that she maintained until she retired in 1993. Ann’s job with Fairfax County Schools allowed her and her husband to send both their children to college and left just enough extra for Ann to slip behind the Red Door of the Elizabeth Arden Salon for some well-deserved “me time.”
In April 1989, Ann was widowed. She remained a few more years in Washington DC. But in 1993, she bid farewell to Washington DC, and her son who lived nearby. She retired to live on the ocean in Atlantic Beach, Florida, and to be closer to her daughter. She correctly calculated that daughters make better care givers than sons. But her son’s real estate karma landed her on the beach; a property that would eventually provide Ann additional financial security for the remainder of her life. So, sons are good care givers too. Ann’s concern and advocacy for children did not end with her career as an educator. In retirement, Ann was a volunteer court appointed advocate to represent children whose families were in the Duval court system.
In 2015, Ann moved into an independent living apartment in the Fleet Landing Retirement Community (Atlantic Beach, Florida). She shared that apartment to the end with her cats “O.B.” and Bentley, who probably miss Ann more than anyone because she spoiled them rotten. Ann enjoyed a comfortable life at Fleet Landing mostly lounging about, reading the New York Times daily, and spoiling her cats with endless treats. And eating lots of ice cream (the cats probably got some of that too).
Near the end Ann looked back on her life with happiness. She said that “to that day” the smartest man she ever met was her husband Jim. She had travelled widely and been blessed to live in many wonderful places, especially the beach.
Ann is predeceased by her husband, James (Jim) Betchkal, her parents, and her brother. She is survived by her daughter, Janet Betchkal, MD, of Jacksonville, Florida, and by her son, Mark Betchkal, of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
Ann will be inurned next to her husband in Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Evanston, Illinois, just a few blocks from the apartment she and her husband Jim lived in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.
Please join the family on Wednesday, Sept 4 from 3:30 to 5 pm with a Celebration of Life at 4pm at Fleet Landing — Coleman Center; One Fleet Landing BLVD; Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
In lieu of flowers please adopt a rescue cat in Ann’s honor or donate to Ana’s Angels 4525 Hood Road Jacksonville FL 32257-1109.
Celebration of Life
Coleman Center @Fleet Landing
1 Fleet Landing Blvd.
Ann V Betchkal
Jackie and Phil Valyou
July 12, 2019
Janet and Mark, so sorry to hear about your mother. A friend saw it in the paper and called me. We remember your mother as the articulate, kind woman that she was and the times we got to spend with her. We remember her love of cats and animals. Even though we lost touch, I thought of her often and missed talking politics with her. Please accept our sincere sympathies. Fondly, Jackie and Phil
July 11, 2019
Sorry to hear of the loss.