Betty Lyons, 84, of Cascade died peacefully surrounded by those she loved and those who loved her. Betty fought the good fight with cancer and finished the race on her terms Nov. 8, 2021.

The family was present to greet friends and relatives from 3:30-7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 12, 2021 at the Reiff Funeral Home in Cascade, where a Rosary was held at 3 p.m.

Services for Betty were held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021 at St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Cascade, with Rev. Douglas Loecke presiding. Mass servers were Charlie Simon and Blair Gleason. Eucharistic Ministers were Jeannie Driscoll and Jean Simon. Lectors were Jean Lynch and Monica Recker. Giftbearers were Will Hoffmann, Leland Cooksley, Harlynn Cooksley, Sarah Cooksley and Molly Moriarity. Burial was held in Calvary Cemetery in Cascade.

Urnbearers were Scott Brecht, Justin Hoffmann, Tyler Moriarity and Ace Lyons.

Betty was born on March 30, 1937 in Iowa City, she was the middle child of the late Lyle and Maxine (Edwards) Denlinger. She will certainly be greeted by one of her late heroines-her much loved paternal grandmother, Maude. Grandma Maude was such a profound influence in Betty’s life, and she will welcome Betty to the heavenly clan and claim her as her own.

She is survived by the love of her life, Pat “Blackie” Lyons who shared 62 wonderful years of marriage. Four children: Linda (Marty) Hoffmann and Nancy (Dave) Taylor both of Cascade, Judy (Mike) Brecht of Cedar Rapids and Randy (Janet) Lyons of Cascade; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She is also survived by brothers, Harvey (Ellie) Denlinger and Marty (Pam) Denlinger both of Cedar Rapids and many nieces and nephews.

Betty’s earliest years were spent moving between Zwingle and Dubuque. Betty graduated in 1956 from Senior High School in Dubuque. It wasn’t until she and Pat operated the family gas station at the corner of Highway 136 and Main St. in Cascade that she found her true home. Over the 58 years on this street corner, Cascade, its people and its causes got in her bones and she in Cascade’s DNA – and one of her legacies is passing her love for Cascade to her kids.

Betty never needed a coach to teach her how to be herself- she was real to the core. What’s not to admire about a woman of eight plus decades who kept a sign in her living room “my house, my rules.” Even though she loved to shop, Betty was a minimalist – no clutter. She was generous to a fault, but sugar coated nothing. Her many loyal friends have been known to say “she’ll tell it like it is.” She was known for baking her famous chocolate cake for various functions and only occasionally topped it with her star winning frosting depending on “whether I liked the person or not.”

Betty had an open-door policy for all family members- and, one of her favorite out-door messages to nieces or nephews was “you are always welcome.” And, each of them smiled, loved and knew it to be true. Every clan needs an aunt Betty who especially knew how to put on an old-fashioned country breakfast and filled a special freezer with homemade cookies.

But she will especially be remembered for putting the “grand” in grandmother. She would want us to remind her grandchildren and great-grandchildren how she loved each of them, delighted in their presence and was proud of their accomplishments. They were her greatest joy. They were all her favorites, but especially whoever was in the room.

Betty has lived a long purposeful life. Her family, friends and faith have nurtured her on her journey back to the light. Keep the light on for us, Betty, we will be joining you soon enough.

Betty and her family would like to thank everyone for the cards, visits and support during her cancer journey.