Betty Wirth

WILMINGTON—Betty Lorraine Wirth, 97, passed away on Aug. 9 in the Lightways Joliet Hospice, with her five surviving children and niece Kathy Lausch providing love and comfort. She was born in Joliet on Jan. 7, 1926 to Willard and Alma (nee Johnson) Carey.
Betty grew up in Joliet, graduating from A. O. Marshall grade school, Joliet Township High School, and later from College of St. Francis. Following high school, she worked full-time at the (Joliet) Herald News as Society Editor, and a few years after WWII married the love of her life, Army veteran Red Wirth. Betty continued at the Herald News part-time as she raised six children who were born from 1950 to 1957. After her youngest child started school, she worked full-time with the Spectator, a weekly Joliet newspaper, and she also began taking night classes at the College of St. Francis, earning a B.S. degree in sociology. During her college studies, she returned to the Herald News after they acquired the Spectator, departing to teach third grade for a few years at St. Raymond’s school, and again returning to the Herald News as a reporter and later as a copy editor. Betty celebrated her retirement at age 65 with a trip to Norway to visit cousins in Stavanger, but she soon went back to working at the Herald News, writing a popular column for seniors, and retiring again in her late 80’s. Never one to stay retired long, she wrote a monthly column for the Timber Times even beyond age 97, highlighting the lives of residents at Timbers of Shorewood. She won a poetry contest at the age of 96.
Betty was the kindest person you could ever know, volunteering extensively. She served on the Womens’ Club of St. Paul the Apostle Church and taught Sunday CCD. After moving to Wilmington, she joined St. Rose of Lima Catholic church, where she was a Sacristan and an active member of the Altar and Rosary Society, the Council of Catholic Women, and the Ladies Sodality. She was proud to be honored as Woman of the Year by the Joliet Diocese. She taught reading to adults, and she served as an election judge for many years in Joliet Township and later Wesley Township. Betty was loved by so many people.
She is survived by her five children: Robert (Mary), Mary (Dennis Evans), John, Joseph (Mary) and Carol (William) Knoch; six grandchildren: Susan (Garrett) Anderson, Jill Wells, Elaine Wirth, Jessica (Jeff) Crompton, Leann (Joshua) Hurstik, and Scott (Tiffany) Wilson; and seven great-grandchildren: Kaitlyn, Jaxon, Joseph, Finley, Taylor, Emma and Koen. She is also survived by her sisters-in-law Marlene (late Richard) Stubler and Waltraut (Werner) Zoglauer, and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 70 years, Robert “Red” Wirth, her son William Wirth, and her siblings Norton (Alice) Carey, Vernon (Carol) Carey, Willard “Bus” (Shirley) Carey, Shirley (Ernie) Edwards, and Lois (James) Lausch.
The family will receive friends for a visitation at Baskerville Funeral Home, 700 East Kahler Road in Wilmington on Tuesday, Aug.15, 2023 between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Funeral services will follow in St. Rose Catholic Church, 604 S. Kankakee Street in Wilmington at 12:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated with Reverend Sebastian Gargol presiding, and Deacon Jay Plese assisting. Burial will be in Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, where Betty will be laid to rest with her late husband.
Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in Betty’s memory to the St. Rose Council of Catholic Women.
Family and friends are encouraged to log onto  to sign the guest book, upload photographs and share Betty’s memorial page online through social media.
Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Baskerville Funeral Home in Wilmington.