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On December 13, our family changed. Our beautiful Betty, our incredible Mom, our devoted Mom-Mom, passed peacefully at the age of 94. Betty was a force. She laughed hard and she loved hard. Really hard.
Family was her priority. Always wondering how everyone was, where everyone was, and if they got home safely. She was what a Mom and Mom-Mom should be - always there. ALWAYS. She said, "I love you" every day. She protected you. She was a gold medal hugger. She was warm. She was thoughtful beyond compare. She was honest. She was a great listener. Her words and hugs softened the toughest situations. Her love was unconditional.
Betty never needed to be the center of attention, and although she was quiet and only 4'10"ish, she always filled a room and people were drawn to her. Despite her tiny stature, she had long slender fingers and strong hands. Her grip on your arm or your hand while she spoke to you said, "We are connected, I am present, and I love you." She would even speak to strangers with this touch and a smile.
Betty was also fierce in her kitchen. She made many things from scratch and made it look easy. She loved when others enjoyed her food, and was especially known for her Italian cooking. She made a mean cherry pie. She was quick to ask if you were hungry or wanted a cup of tea when you walked in the door. She liked to sit and talk over that cup of tea and made you feel like you were the only person in the world.
Betty had a sense of humor that she passed down. She would hit family and friends with one-liners that broke them up laughing - some to be retold many many times for many many years.
Betty was married to Anthony "Tony" Yanchulis for 60 years. They were high school sweethearts, and grew up in a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania. Betty worked as an x-ray technician before she and Tony moved to Maryland and started their family. She was a strong, stubborn woman who, even after Tony passed nine years ago, continued living on her own because she didn't want to leave the home where she'd lived with Tony and her family for more than 60 years.
Betty's passing leaves a void in our hearts that will never be filled. We are grateful we had her as our own. We will continue to love her fiercely, as she loved us.
Betty's legacy will live on through her children - Elizabeth (Jimmy), Anthony III (Kathy), Suzanne, Christopher (Mack), and Mark (Sue); grandchildren - Tim (Sarah), Tyler, Christine, Brieann (Lawrence), Noah (Isabelle), Riley, Cooper, and Jimmy Jr. (Nikki); and great-grandchildren - Tyler, Brandon, Cole, Luke, Abby, Lauren, Cole, Rylie, and Sullivan. And those she touched with her hand and a smile.
Join us to celebrate Betty's incredible life at Borgwardt Funeral Home 4400 Powder Mill Rd in Beltsville on Wednesday December 20 from 2-4 and 6-8 pm, and for mass at Holy Redeemer Church 4902 Berwyn Rd in College Park on Thursday December 21 at 10am. After mass, she will be buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring. Memorial contributions may be made to Casey House 6001 Muncaster Mill Rd, Rockville 20855, where Betty spent her last days with dignity and in peace.