Anna Marie Ripperger Bettmeng was born July 3, 1926, in Dell Rapids, SD, to Simon and Carolyn (Pierret) Ripperger. She was the oldest of seven children. Marie attended a country school near Colton and later Junius, SD, then attended high school in Madison, SD. After graduation Marie went to California and worked for Lockheed Aircraft as a stenographer. A year later she returned to attend nurse's training in Sioux Falls, and began working at the Madison Hospital in 1948. She later went to Rapid City and worked private duty.
On October 23, 1950, Marie wed Leonard Bettmeng at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Madison. The family lived in Madison until 1955 then moved to Castlewood. While there Marie worked at the Watertown hospital. In 1967 the family moved to Oldham, and Marie worked part time at the Lake Preston hospital. In 1970 the family moved to Alexandria and in 1977 to Baltic. After retirement, Leonard and Marie returned to Alexandria to their lake home, where Marie spent the remaining years of her life.
Marie was involved in numerous activities including Master Gardeners, American Legion Auxiliary, St. Mary of Mercy Catholic Church ministries, Pleasure Pals Extension Club, Respect Life Representative, Sacred Heart League and S.H.I.N.E. Since retiring, one of Marie’s most joyful pastimes was gardening, as was evidenced by her efforts in the Carmelite Convent’s gardens, as well as her own yard and gardens.
She is survived by her children: Rick Bettmeng, Lakeview, MI, Rene’ Wyatt (Curt), Corona, CA, Mick Bettmeng, Blackhawk, SD, Lori Ball (Ken), Mooresville, IN, Lois Powers (Gregg), Mesquite, NV, Bruce Bettmeng (Pam), Sioux Falls, SD, Raymond Bettmeng (Rae Jean), Overland Park, KS, Paul Bettmeng, Rapid City, SD; her sister, Darlene Stampe; 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Marie was preceded in death by her husband, Leonard, her daughter, Dene', brothers: Harold, Gerald and Lionel, and sisters: Theresa and Dorothy.
Marie was a great friend and servant to many and will be dearly missed.