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Obituary: Larry and Betsy Wergin

Larry and Betsy Wergin

Larry and Betsy Wergin of Lake Havasu City, Arizona died in early January from covid. They died at home, as was their wish. They were married 58 years and died within days of each other.

Larry was born June 29, 1939 in Winner, South Dakota to Carl and Lena Wergin. He graduated from Winner High School class of 1957 and attended South Dakota State University on an Air Force ROTC scholarship. He graduated in 1961 with a degree in Math and then attended Oklahoma State University for his master’s studies.

Betsy was born January 2, 1941 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma to Jack and Frances Tarner. She graduated from Bartlesville High School in 1959 and attended Oklahoma State University earning a degree in Home Economics. She was an active member of Delta Zeta sorority and enjoyed many life-long relationships created there.

Larry and Betsy met on a blind date and courted through the spring and summer. He was the romantic and told his children he was attracted to her because she was a beautiful woman. She was the practical one and told her children that she was attracted to him because he had a job. They were married in 1962 in Bartlesville, OK. Larry’s career with the Air Force took him to California while Betsy stayed in Oklahoma to finish her student teaching assignments. She joined him at Vandenberg AFB and they soon welcomed their son Barry to their family. Larry and Betsy returned to Bartlesville in 1965 and he worked at Phillips Petroleum. Soon after their second son, Rand, was born. Soon after they moved to Colorado Springs where Larry pursued a career in data processing working with Colorado Interstate Gas and then Looart Press/Current, the greetings card company. The family welcomed their daughter, Karin, into their lives while in Colorado, and later Larry graduated from the University of Denver with a master’s degree. Larry and Betsy then moved the family to Omaha and then Wichita where Larry worked with the Federal Land Banks in the emerging field of Information Technology. Betsy supported the family through swim team and soccer seasons, early morning breakfasts before practice and taxi driver. Eventually the combination of an empty nest and a yearning for the mountains returned them to Colorado, first to Denver and then to Granby. Betsy returned to the workforce in retail at a fabric store where she quickly earned her place as store manager, and then ticket sales at Winter Park Ski Area. Soon, retirement found them, and they enjoyed the lifestyle, community, and friendship in that small Colorado mountain town. The second half of their retirement years saw them seeking warmer winters in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

Together, Betsy and Larry built their family around a love for camping and the outdoors, a passion for God and family, and an admiration for books. Whether it was Colorado or Arizona, Larry was active in church, sometimes in lay leadership, sometimes in worship leadership, sometimes simply wielding a hammer on construction projects as they helped the church build and grow. It could be said that Larry was happiest when covered in sawdust and surrounded by tools. There was always a project to be had at the house or at the family’s rustic cabin nestled in the shoulders of the Spanish Peaks. (Often those projects involved family participation which looked a lot like slave labor to the children…) Larry and Betsy were a great team, for she also loved her children and pushed them to work hard. When the children whined, which must have been often, she was quick to respond with the sage words of wisdom: “Tough Shit.” While Larry was excited about power tools and lumber, Betsy was a connoisseur of fabric and clothing patterns. He, the romantic, created a plywood Santa decoration for their house, and that decoration still exists today. On the other hand, Betsy was the practical woman that became an excellent seamstress and sewed most of her own clothes. Her children loathed to be captive while their mother shopped at the various fabric stores in town; there was no such thing as a “quick trip” to the fabric store.

The romantic man and the practical woman built and wove their lives together with three children, ten grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Their marriage was not idyllic; they had good times and bad. But they were faithful and stuck together, and they knew to forgive each other. As such, the good times were more frequent and enduring than the bad. That legacy strengthened the family and encouraged their children as covid brought them to the end of their lives. Larry died Sunday, January 10th and Betsy left soon after on Thursday January 14th. They are survived by their children Barry and his wife Janice of Kemmerer, Wyoming, Rand and his wife Vanessa of Burbank, South Dakota, and Karin Moglia and her husband John of Grand Rapids, Michigan

Services for the couple are tentatively planned for early June in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Memorial donations may be sent to Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Larry requested donations for his two favorite ministries in the church: the Wood Working Shop, and the Music Ministry.


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