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Bette A. (Langeness) Skaar

March 31, 1934 ~ January 26, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old

Bette Skaar Obituary

Bette Anne Skaar, 89, of Cambridge, MN, passed away on Friday, January 26, 2024 at United Hospital in St. Paul four days after her husband Erven passed.

Bette Anne (Langeness) Skaar was born March 31st, 1934, in Minneola Township, Goodhue County to Manley and Ruth (Reberg) Langeness. Cut from hard working cloth, Bette’s father Manley would farm the Langeness homestead, while Bette and her younger sister Sharon would explore the land, hunting for fossils, climbing the windmill, and caring for their animals. Her early years on the farm in Wanamingo flamed a spirit of adventure and eagerness to learn that carried on into her adult life. Bette excelled in higher education, graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1955 with a degree in Education. Here, she met the love of her life Erven Skaar who she married in 1955. A lover of people and culture, Bette traveled any chance she got, even reaching China in the early 2000s. Recognizing China’s rapid Westernization and wanting to experience the culture again, Bette booked a return flight for the following year as soon as she got home.

A lifelong traveler and learner, Bette chose to give back as an educator, teaching Home Economics in Long Prairie for five years. Bette and Erven’s journey then took them to Cambridge, where she worked at Cambridge State School and Hospital. Here, she poured her heart and soul into patients with disabilities across nine counties. A staunch liberal in the best sense of the word, Bette leaped at the opportunity to tenderly care for the marginalized, rehabilitating individuals with physical, emotional, and intellectual disabilities. Throughout her tenure at the hospital, she developed a groundbreaking teaching program with the objective to equip those in her care with the skills they needed to succeed and live independently. The first model of its kind, Bette’s curriculum serves as the archetype learning model for people with disabilities at similar institutions.  Over 60 years later, her curriculum is still utilized by what is now called Cambridge Regional Human Services Center.

After 15 years in education, Bette took on a brand new project: motherhood. Bette and Erven were blessed with the birth of their son, Trygve, in April of 1969. They believed it took a village to raise a son, and the parents of Paul’s Lake agreed. Bette and Erven showed up for their son daily, pouring into him with hugs, love you’s, and even ivory soap when needed. As a mother, Bette provided Trygve with freedom, discipline, and love.

Even as a mother, Bette did not shy away from hard work. Named Copper Kettle Antiques, their business operated from 1975 to 2023 and brought them to Florida, Montana, Southern Manitoba and Ontario, and throughout the upper midwest. In their later years, they focused on print media where Bette assessed the worth of magazines and those deemed not valuable would be cut for advertisements. She was known among antique dealers to have the most updated and diverse ad collections, with subjects ranging from Avon Soap to Zenith T.V. Bette’s collection of Jolly Green Giant ads was sought out by the company’s CEO, who purchased her vast collection to preserve their history.

Bette was quick to say I love you, and even faster to put that love into action. As a mother and Grandmother alike, Bette attended 100s of sporting events, concerts, and more. While she enjoyed watching competitive sports, she also had a thirst for rivalry as an avid bridge player, where in her son’s words, “She did not lose.”

In her final decade, Bette sang the virtues of fortitude, grace, and gratefulness. From an initial terminal cancer diagnosis, Bette beat the cancer three separate times and fought for each and every year. During these years, she poured her heart into her family and work. She told her son and grandchildren,  "Be grateful for these years, and do not be afraid." Bette lived and died a fighter. Erven and Bette’s love first bloomed in the Lutheran Choir at university, and after 68 years of marriage, they are now reunited in the heavenly tabernacle.

Bette was preceded in death by her parents Manley and Ruth (Reberg) Langeness, and her husband Erven, who she referred to as, “The kindest man I know.”

She is survived by her son Trygve Skaar of Rosemount, three grandchildren Meira Skaar (Ronnie Kitoy) of Bloomington, Josiah Skaar of Wheaton, IL, Cadence Snyder of Edina, daughter-in-law Kathy Skaar of Lakeville, sister Sharon (Robert) Holets of Pine Island, many nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts to the University of Minnesota Cancer, Leukemia and Lymphoma Research Fund are preferred.  https://makingagift.umn.edu/give/fund.html?id=11459

Memorial Service 11AM, Saturday, February 10, 2024 at Cambridge Lutheran Church. Visitation one hour prior to the service at the church.

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Services

Visitation
Saturday
February 10, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Cambridge Lutheran Church
621 Old North Main Street
Cambridge, MN 55008

Memorial Service
Saturday
February 10, 2024

11:00 AM
Cambridge Lutheran Church
621 Old North Main Street
Cambridge, MN 55008

Donations

Leukemia and Lymphoma Research Fund
Web: https://makingagift.umn.edu/give/fund.html?id=11459

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