Betsy McDowell


Betsy Jane McDowell, 89, passed away Tuesday, December 6, 2022 at Crystal Brook Assisted Living in Park Rapids, MN.

Betsy Jane McDowell was born in LaCrosse, Wisconsin on August 9, 1933 to. Donald C. and Mabel McDowell. She grew up in and graduated from Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin. Betsy attended and earned her teaching degree at Luther College. She taught for ten years at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania. Betsy continued her teaching career at Bemidji State University. She had a passion for coaching as well and was one of the founders who made sure women’s athletics came to BSU. She also started the first women’s field hockey team at BSU. Betsy coached field hockey teams to state, regional and national championships.

In 1996 she was inducted into the Bemidji State Hall of Fame and in 2006 she was inducted into the NSIC Hall of Fame.

Betsy loved BSU, field hockey, teaching, family, friends, Sanibel, fishing and traveling. She loved God and she especially loved being Aunt Betsy Jane.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Donald and his wife, Lillian, her niece, Judy Thisius and her nephew, Donald Junior(Mac).

She is survived by nieces and nephews, Gary Thisius, Nancy McDowell, Mary and Jerry Benham, Susie McDowell and Randy Carlson, Mike and Linda McDowell and many great nieces and nephews.

Memorials to CHI St. Joseph’s Health Hospice Care of Park Rapids or Bemidji State University Women’s Athletic Foundation.

A private family celebration of Betsy’s life will be held in July of 2023.

Arrangements by Cease Family Funeral Home of Park Rapids, MN.

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