SOUTH BEND, INd. – John R. Betz died peacefully on July 24, in South Bend, Ind. 

He was born in Paulding, on the last day of the year of 1942, to Harold and Helen Betz (both deceased). An only (much-loved) child, John found his siblings with his five cousins in the family of Chester and Velma Straley.

John graduated from Paulding High School in 1960 and continued his education at Bowling Green State University, Indiana University, and Northwest Tech.  He spent 34 years in education in Indiana and Ohio.

  He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Lillian (nee Justavick), two daughters, Michelle (Scott) Nist of Hartland, Mich, and Jennifer Betz (Matthew Insley) of South Bend, Ind., one son, John (Jennifer) Betz, of Holly Springs, N.C., and six grandchildren, Alex, Max, Grayce, Katy, Cameron, and Jack.

  His defining characteristics were the genuine love and generous care he provided as a husband, father, and grandfather. He was blessed with an incredible sense of humor, which kept everyone smiling and occasionally groaning. If you don’t know his two favorite jokes, be sure to ask one of the kids. Don’t ask Lillian - she’s heard them enough.

  He loved watching Duke University basketball and football from Miami University and Notre Dame. His grandkids considered him the king of making cinnamon toast for breakfast and he loved to spend time visiting with them and slipping them little green surprises. The grandchildren are petitioning Grandma to carry on that tradition.

The family would like to thank all at the Sanctuary of Saint Paul's in South Bend, especially the caregivers in Memory Care, and all at StoryPoint in Fort Wayne, who helped make his last year enjoyable.

Visitation will be held at Den Herder Funeral Home in Paulding, Ohio, on Tuesday, July 28 from 2 - 4 p.m., and 6 - 8 p.m.  The rosary will be recited at 7:30 p.m.  

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Divine Mercy Catholic Parish in Paulding, Ohio, on Wednesday, July 29 at 10 a.m. with burial to follow at Live Oak Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Divine Mercy Parish or the Janice Lipp Memorial Scholarship Fund.

For those planning to attend the visitation or funeral mass,  we ask that you maintain physical distancing measures and practice responsible virus protection while offering the family support.