Betty Jean Galen

Born: Wednesday, October 29th 1930 in Detroit, Michigan
Died: Tuesday, April 7th 2020 in Seward, Nebraska
Age: 89 years, 5 months and 9 days
Visitation Time(s)
In light of the coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings, her family will delay a memorial service until such a time as when her extended relations can gather for a celebration of life….hopefully this summer.
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Service: -
St. John Lutheran Church
919 N. Columbia Ave.
Seward, NE  68434
Officiating: Pastor David Rempfer
Inurnment: Seward Cemetery, Seward, Nebraska

Betty Jean (Oehmke) Galen passed away on Tuesday, April 7, at the age of 89. She was a resident of Brookdale Heartland in Seward at the time of her death, and had suffered from respiratory disease for the past year.
Betty was born in the Detroit area in 1930, the third of six children of Gus and Catherine (Lardner) Oehmke. She is survived by siblings Jerry Oehmke and wife Bea in St. Johns, MI; her sister Joyce and husband Jerry Cornelissen in Fort Wayne, IN; and her brother Dave and wife Julie Oehmke in Brentwood, TN. Her brother Don Oehmke died in 2011, and an infant brother Richard Oehmke died shortly after his birth.
Betty was a graduate of Fraser High School in Michigan, and later Concordia College in River Forest, IL. She married William Galen in 1961 after they met a year earlier in a church choir in the Chicago area. Soon after, they moved to Seward where Bill took a position as professor of vocal music at Concordia College. Betty and Bill had two children: Christopher Galen and his wife Adele Logan-Galen, who with their children Grace and Gavin Galen live in Annandale, VA; and Luke Galen of Grand Rapids, MI, and his fiancée Celeste Ehrenberg of Omaha, NE.
Music was a focal point of their lives, bringing Betty and Bill together at the start of their relationship in Chicago, and later through their involvement with both Concordia and the St. John’s church choir. When Bill retired from Concordia in 1983, Betty began teaching many of his voice classes at the college. Bill Galen passed away in 1994.
Betty retired from Concordia in the early 2000s, to devote more time to visiting her grandchildren, and to traveling the nation and the world. She was a proud and active member of the Seward Women’s Club for five decades, and was past president of both the Seward chapter as well as past president of District 4 Nebraska Federation of Women's Clubs. She was also a long-time board member of Seward Arts Council, helping with many projects and presentations.
Betty was blessed with a relentlessly upbeat personality, a quick smile, and boundless energy. She loved music, reading, cookie baking, pets, and helping others learn and grow. She appreciated her many blessings including great health (until very late in life), many friends, her family, and being able to make a difference through nearly 60 years involvement at St. John’s, Concordia, and the Seward community.

Betty Galen