Betty Jean Stern Obituary

Betty Jean Stern, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother passed away peacefully on Monday, September 4, 2023. She was 83. Betty was born on July 17, 1940 to Dozier and Elsie (Krugel) Easterling and graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1958. She worked at Mercy Hospital and later for Whirlpool Corporation in the Administration Center. In 1992 Betty wed the love of her life, Edward Stern, and the two forged a beautiful life together full of golfing, “TV’ing”, Sunday bagels, and Thanksgiving gatherings.

Ever the quintessential homemaker, Betty enjoyed sewing, crocheting, quilting, gardening, reading books on her Kindle, making delicious meals and scrumptious home baked goods. If asked, she would simply say that she had always wanted to be a mom. No matter the occasion, Betty cherished time with her family, welcoming all with a warm smile and a loving hug. Visits with her grandchildren and great grandchildren were an extra special event that brought Betty great joy.

Betty is survived by her children Jon (Sisi) Wessendorf, Tammy McCarthy, Katrina (Dean) Berres, Laura (Jeremy) Cionca, Judy (Bruce) Kerns, Julie Ives, Deborah (Ron) Andree, and Edward Stern Jr; as well as several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, husband, children Terry Howard and Debbie Howard; and brother Dr. Ronald Easterling.

A visitation will be held on Saturday, September 9, 2023 from 12pm until 1pm at Starks & Menchinger Family Funeral Home, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, MI. The Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held on the same day at 1pm at the funeral home. All friends and family are welcome. Memorials may be made to the Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan. Those wishing to share a memory of Betty online may do so at