ELIZABETH SHERIDAN GUNNERSON (BETTE), 79, passed away on Saturday, December 3, 2005 in Galveston, Texas. She was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on September 6, 1926 to Sarah Coyle and William Sheridan. She graduated from St. Dominic’s Academy in Jersey City, New Jersey and on November 16, 1946 was married to Robert (Bob) Gunnerson.
Bette was preceded in death by her husband, Robert (Bob) Gunnerson; granddaughter, Mary Briza; grandson, John Briza; brother, William Sheridan; brother-in-law, Robert Schuttinger; nephew, Kenneth Schuttinger. She leaves to cherish her memories daughters Karen Briza and husband Chris, Anne Gunnerson, Lori Rosendale and husband Stephen; son Robert Gunnerson; ten grandchildren; five great grandchildren; sisters Jean Schuttinger, Marie Eeva and husband Dominic; brother John (Jack) Sheridan and wife Charlotte; many nieces and nephews; and a multitude of friends.
Bette worked as an Insurance Claims Examiner but spent most of her life as a very loving and devoted wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, and great grandmother. Her strong devotion to her Catholic faith guided her life and impacted all whose lives she touched. Bette was very active in both her Church and community. Before moving to Houston in 1976 she was a member of the Rosary Society at St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Far Rockaway, New York. She then became an active member of first St. Michael’s Parish and subsequently St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish where she was very involved in the Focolare Movement. Bette served as a Eucharistic Minister and Lector at St. Dominic Village where she resided in Independent Living for five years before moving to Galveston. While at St. Dominic’s Bette became an outspoken advocate for senior issues.
She held leadership positions in the Senior Senate and was appointed to the Silver Haired Legislature co-authoring a Bill in the State Senate that would provide funds for those needing Assisted Living accommodations. Unfortunately, this Bill was tabled until the next Legislative session. Bette continued to serve in the Silver Haired Legislature until her death making frequent trips to Austin as an advocate for senior issues. Last February Bette could not resist the call of the Gulf and moved to Galveston to be near the beach where she felt so close to God. She described it as an inspirational place conducive to prayer and meditation. For these last few months she attended Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Galveston and made many new friends in her Bible Study there.
Many thanks are extended to all those friends who have made her life fuller, especially Ms. Kathy Bingham.