Betty Jean Avant
Thursday, February 8, 1940
Date of Death:
Thursday, September 15, 2022
82 years old
Betty Jean Avant
Betty Jean Avant passed away on September 15, 2022, at the age of 82, in Rochester, Minnesota.
Betty was born on February 8, 1940, in Minneapolis, MN, to Jean and Einer Jensen. Betty graduated from Washburn High School in Minneapolis in 1958. That year she enrolled at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. She stayed at Gustavus for one year before transferring to the University of Minnesota where she completed her degree in Education. Here she met Robert “Bob” Avant, who was attending Medical School at the University of Minnesota. They were married on December 28, 1962. After Bob graduated from Medical School they lived in San Bernadino, California; Grand Forks, North Dakota; and Golden Valley, Minnesota. In the summer of 1977, Betty and Bob, along with their three sons, moved to Rochester. Here they lived for nearly 15 years before moving to Lexington, Kentucky. After Bob retired, they split their time between their home in Bonita Springs, Florida, and the cabin they had on Lake Owen in Cable, Wisconsin since 1969. In 2017 they purchased a home back in Rochester, not far from where Bob and Betty had raised their three sons.
Betty was a people-person. She was genuinely interested in learning as much as possible about everyone she met. She kept in touch with friends dating all the way back to her childhood in Minneapolis, with many long phone calls to catch up with her friends and always sending birthday cards to friends and relatives. She was a “bonus” mom to many of the friends and cousins of her three sons. Betty enjoyed gardening, golfing, ice skating, bird watching, and knitting. She also loved taking their two family dogs, Taffy and Bear, for walks around the neighborhood. Betty was part owner of The Whiffletree, a knitting store located across from St. Mary’s Hospital on 2nd Street in Rochester, where she met many people with similar interests. Betty also truly enjoyed her time at the family cabin on Lake Owen, whether it was time on the boat, preparing family meals, or playing games like Yahtzee with her family.
Betty is survived by her husband Bob Avant (married 59 and 1⁄2 years), sons Paul, Greg (Shawn), and Todd (Courtenay), five grandchildren (Lexi, Jameson, Tommi, Chloe, and Lucy) and one great-grandchild, Paisley.
The Memorial Service for Betty will be held at 11:00 am on Friday September 23, 2022, at Zumbro Lutheran Church in Rochester. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Betty donated to many charitable organizations and causes throughout her life. Therefore, in lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to the charity of your choice in Betty’s honor.
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The family of Betty Jean Avant has received the following condolences.
condolences to you and the boys. Betty was a special, kind and caring person that I always admired
Our condolences to the Avant family during this time and future times. May your memories of Betty, your mom, & your grandmother bring peace to each of you now and in the future. She will forever be with each of you & future Avant’s.
Joan and Jeff Parrish
Our sincerest sympathys on Betty’s passing. We have the fondest memories of the many Board meetings she organized and tended. Our deepest condolences to Bob and the whole family.
Bob and family,
We were saddened to hear of Betty's passing. We certainly have lots of fond memories of time together when Todd and Tom were growing up. Hopefully those kinds of memories, and the strength of faith family and friends will help you through these difficult and sad times. Please know our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies go out to you, and all of your family. You're in our prayers. Fondly, Dick and Carol Hart
Bill and I are so sorry to hear of Betty’s passing. We send our love and condolences to you and your family. We remember such wonderful times with y’all at the board meetings. Betty was always so welcoming and gracious. Bill enjoyed being part of her spouse group.
Diane and Bill
Our condolences to the Avant families. Especially her wonderful husband Bob. They were our neighbors and friends when we all lived in the mountains of Silverthorne, Co at "The Ponds" for years. We will miss her smile. She was a fun ,bubbly person who enjoyed her walks with the backdrop of the mountains and the lower Blue River. Love to the entire Avant Family. May your memories of her be your comfort.
Betty brightened my days at Firefly in Cable. Always eye to eye and heart to heart, she would waltz in at the end of the day with a smile. Or Betty would call me the next day because something stuck in her brain. Can you hold this til tomorrow when I come back into town? Absolutely.
I came to know her more personally over time and am humbled that she shared her story with me.
Peace Betty. Your spirit at peace I pray. A warm hug to Bob. I have missed your bride.
Dear Bob and sons,
I was so sad to read of Betty's passing. The world has lost a very special person. May you find comfort in your years of memories.
I have been an employee of ABFM for 37 years and I remember Mrs. Avant as a kind and caring lady who always had a smile on her face. Condolences to Dr. Avant, her family and friends.
So sorry to hear about Betty's passing. She was a wonderful, kind soul. She will be missed. Our thoughts are with Bob and your family.
David Price & Dianne Glenn
Betty Avant is a ray of light in the lives of many-certainly in my life whenever I encountered her at the American Board of Family Medicine events we attended together. Her husband Bob shares in her spirit. My heartfelt sadness about her passing and prayers for her surviving family and friends. Until we meet again Betty may God’s grace comfort you.
I teared up immediately reading this. Condolences never quite capture the sense of the loss of a loved one. My thoughts are with you, Bob, your family, and the extended family that we each represent in our own little way.
Bob and family, I can't imagine how sad to must feel to be without Betty. I always felt like I was "special" to her and I am thinking that is the way she made many people feel. I will keep you in my thoughts these days and never will I forget her friendship. Ed
Dear Bob and family,
Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of Betty. She was a gracious and kind woman who always made me feel welcome at the ABFM. This quote reminded me of her...
Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming Gardners who make our souls blossom. Marcel Proust
Wishing you peace and comfort during this time.
Talking with Betty during my early time at the Board was such a pleasure. You knew if Betty touched your arm and lowered your voice, you were about to hear something profound. She leaves a huge wake of love and impact.
Bob Phillips, ABFM Foundation and Center for Professionalism & Value in Health Care
Dear Bob and family,
We were so sad to hear of the loss of your dear Betty. We have fond memories of the times we shared through the AAFP and the ABFM. Betty was always kind and welcoming to new comers which we so appreciated.
Please know that we send you our heartfelt sympathies.
Alain and Kathleen Montegut
Bonnie and family. So sorry to hear of Betty's death. I have fond memories of the family from days in golden valley. Best to you and family. John Fangman
We were so sorry to hear of Betty's death. She was always a friendly and thoughtful lady with a kind word for all. We'll miss her friendly waves and cheerful greetings at Christus Victor.
Dear Bob and Family—Regret learning of your loss—so sad. We will always remember our gatherings with Betty/you at the Black Bear when you were here at the Lake. She always had a fun story to tell that livened up the conversation. She will be missed. Come visit us when you’re in the North country. Will and Family
Dear Bob & family,
We are so saddened to hear of Betty’s death. She was a lovely & kind woman who made us feel very welcome during the few years Bob & I worked together @ Mayo JAX. God’s Blessings! Kevin & Maureen Wilson
So sorry to hear the sad news from over the Ocean. Your Finnish relatives send our love and sympathy to all the Avant family. Our warmest thoughts are especially with cousin Bob.
May God bless you all!
PEACE TO THE LIFE OF BETTY AVANT----A TRULY REMARKABLE WOMAN-!---FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS !--AND THINKING OF DR BOB! HER CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN AND FRIENDS.
YOUR GRAND FORKS AFB/ 804 MEDICAL GROUP SAC "FAMILY"
GAY AND JIM
I’m so sorry for your loss! You all were so blessed to have her in your lives all these years. She will always be that guardian angel on your right shoulder 💔🤎! My best to all of the Avant family💔💔💔💔💔
Our hearts are broken. Our prayers are with you, Bob, Paul,Greg, Todd and your families. Betty has been such a special friend for over 65 years she will be so missed
We have lost a very dear friend of 58 years. many good times together from the 804th Air Force Days in North Dakota to Kentucky ties and raising kids. We will forever remember our sweet dear friend Betty !! Our love and prayers and sympathy go with Bob and sons and families. Sue and Keith Ellis
Sending love to Bob, Paul, Greg, Todd and their families at this sad time. Betty was one-of-a-kind and she will be sorely missed!
My condolences to Dr. Avant and his family. Betty was a special person to everyone and will be missed. May you memories of times with her be comforting forever.
Sincere sympathy to the Avant family she will be missed greatly