Obituary: Betty A. Briscoe

Posted at 5:30 PM, Jul 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-10 19:30:09-04

Betty Briscoe passed away peacefully of natural causes on June 30, 2019 in Great Falls, Montana.

Elizabeth “Betty” Ann Heisler was born to Ben and Eva Heisler in Anamoose, North Dakota on November 15, 1931. Betty was the oldest of four children. Everyone knew her as “Betty” because “Elizabeth” was very difficult for a 5-year-old to spell.

In her early teens, she moved to Great Falls with her family. She spoke mainly German, and the Catholic nuns at school believed she and her siblings were talking about them when they spoke German. She quickly had to learn English!

After graduation from Great Falls High School in 1950, Betty began her nursing training with the Sisters of Columbus. She became a registered nurse in 1953. Upon graduation, she worked for Dr. McGregor. During that time, she met a quiet young man who stole her heart.

After a couple of years of courtship and his overseas military duties, she married John Briscoe, Sr. on June 18, 1955. They were married for nearly 29 years until his passing in April of 1984.

Betty continued with her nursing career, working in pediatrics at Columbus Hospital while her four kids were young. As they grew, she took a break from nursing to devote more time to caring for her family, including the newest addition of a second daughter, as well as her love of gardening, canning, and sewing. She and John were living on the Fairfield Bench at the time of his passing, where she continued to live until her youngest daughter left home for college.

Betty returned to work in a totally different aspect of caregiving at Park Place Nursing Home, where she maintained her high standard of compassion and gentleness. When she left nursing at Park Place, she was able to pursue her love of fabrics, sewing, and socializing by working at Hancock Fabrics.

Wanting to continue her nursing profession, Betty became the afternoon nursing staff for the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind. Betty adored the kids that she cared for, and loved each and every one of them as if they were her own. Due to health reasons, she decided to retire at the age of 79.

Betty’s deep Catholic faith was evident throughout her life. She contributed countless hours teaching catechism, sponsoring confirmation candidates, and assisting with the Eucharist. Despite only knowing her a short while, her caregivers at the Goodnow Cottage recognized the importance of her Rosary in her day-to-day wellbeing.

To read the complete obituary and share condolences, visit the O’Connor Funeral Home website.