Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Betty Lou Anderson, age 95, of Celina, passed away October 2, 2023 at her residence, surrounded by her family.
Born in Coldwater, Ohio, on April 26, 1928, Betty Lou was the only child of the late Louis Joseph Kallmeyer and Bessie Elnora (Deitsch) Kallmeyer. Betty's father died of a stroke before she was 15 months old. She was raised by her mother and step-father, Ed Fox, Sr., and during her school years was known as Betty Fox. Betty was especially close to her maternal grandparents, Henry and Anna Deitsch, who helped care for her in the years before her mother remarried. She spent many happy days with them on their farm on Oregon Road in Liberty Township.
Betty attended elementary and high school in Coldwater, where she was a four-year cheerleader, graduating with the class of 1945. She met Warren Anderson in Coldwater when she was playing softball and Warren and his friends pulled up on their Indian Motorcycles. Betty and Warren were married in 1947 and over the next eighteen years became the parents of eleven children - five girls and six boys. Warren died February 16, 2007.
While they raised their children, Warren and Betty also built one of the first drive-in restaurants in the area, called "the Willow", and operated it for over twenty years. Warren worked full-time at Mersman's and then New Idea and other jobs while Betty took over most of the day-to-day management of the restaurant. The restaurant closed in 1972 and Betty worked for a time as an aide at Briarwood Nursing Home in Coldwater. In 1984, Warren and Betty's son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Denise, opened a fast-food restaurant on Main Street in Celina. In honor of the original restaurant, they named their business "the Willow". Betty immediately reentered the restaurant business, making soups and pies for the new Willow and for many years serving late night and early morning customers. She became great friends with many of her customers who would stop for middle-of-the-night sandwiches and coffee when they had insomnia or were on their way home from work. She became well-known for her pies. She retired from the restaurant business for the final time in 2014, when she was 86 years old. Her children were worried that she would be bored at home, but she enjoyed her second retirement and told her children, "I should have retired at 80."
Betty was very religious, going to Mass every day when she was still able to drive. Her faith brought her comfort after the deaths of her husband and three of her sons. She kept a Bible and several prayer books on the table beside her favorite chair. She set aside time every day for prayer.
She was also passionate about her politics. A very conservative Republican, her house became well known by people who traveled often on State Route 127 south of Celina for the variety of political signs that adorned her front yard.
Betty is survived by eight children: Pamela Anderson of Lima, Deborah (Tom May) Anderson of Celina, Lorraine (Tom Cole) Anderson of Montezuma, Stephanie (Alan) Birt of Montezuma, Scott (Denise) Anderson of Celina, Joel (Carol Holdheide) Anderson of Celina, Lisa Stahl Ricks of Celina, and Kevin (Lori) Anderson of Cincinnati; and a daughter-in-law, Diana Anderson of Lima; plus 18 grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren. She is also survived by five half-siblings: Joan Meyers of Coldwater, Virginia Baucher of Coldwater, Mary Ann Fickert of Celina, Ed Fox of Van Wert, and Bill Fox of Coldwater.
Three sons are deceased: Monte Anderson, Brent Anderson and Chris Anderson, and a son-in-law: Ron Ricks. Also deceased are a half-brother, Paul Fox, and five step-siblings: John Fox, Margaret Fox, Rosemary (Sister Anita) Fox, Dorothy Ellis, and Rita Nartker.
Betty was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Celina, and the Altar Rosary Sodality.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, October 6, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Celina, with Father John Tonkin presiding.
Burial will be in Swamp College Cemetery, Celina.
Friends may call from 2:00 - 8:00 p.m., Thursday, October 5, and 9:30 - 10:15 a.m. on Friday, at W.H. Dick & Sons-Hellwarth Funeral Home in Celina.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Immaculate Conception Grade School, Right to Life, or to the charity of one's choice.