Sunday, December 16, 2018



August 20, 1954—November 4, 2017

   Weary of reading obituaries noting someone’s courageous battle with death, Bruce wanted it known that he died as a result of being stubborn, refusing doctor’s orders and raising hell for more than six decades. He enjoyed his “adult beverages”, guns, hunting, cars and his family up until the day he died; Saturday, November 4, 2017, with his family by his side.

   Bruce was born the youngest of three, on August 20, 1954, in Sparta, Wisconsin, to Merlin and Barbara (Lang) Betts. He grew up in the Bangor/Rockland, Wisconsin, area, but traveled throughout the United States while scaling hundreds, if not thousands of telephone poles while honing his skills as a telephone lineman. Bruce also worked construction, for the DNR and various other professions throughout his life.

   Bruce met, courted for entirely too long and eventually married Lori (Hansen) on June 15, 1985. To this marriage they were blessed with two children, Jess and Nikki. During the prime of his life, Bruce enjoyed hunting any animal in the wild, fishing, crafting items out of wood, being artistic, spending time with friends and family and many “trips to the basement”.

   Bruce is survived by his wife of 32 years, Lori, Sparta, Wisconsin; his son from a previous marriage, Jeffrey (Jennifer) Erickson of Timnath, Colorado; son, Jess Betts of Sparta, Wisconsin; and daughter, Nikki Betts (Mathew Hauser) of Ontario, Wisconsin. He is further survived by his sister, Rose Marie (Francis) Downs of Oakdale, Wisconsin; nine grandchildren, Justin (Anna) Erickson, Josh (Megan) Erickson, and Joseph Erickson, all of Colorado, Teagan, Colton, Hayden and Braelyn Betts, all of Marshfield, Wisconsin, and Paisley Hauser Betts of Ontario, Wisconsin; twin great-granddaughters, Gracyn and Penelope Erickson of Colorado. Further surviving are numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and numerous other relatives and friends.

   Preceding Bruce in death were his parents, Merlin and Barbara; his brothers, Terry and Jeff; many uncles, aunts, grandparents and in-laws.

   A celebration of life will be Saturday, November 25, 2017, at Coulee Region Cremation Group, 133 Mason Street, Onalaska, Wisconsin 54650. Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m., with services beginning promptly at 11:00, since Bruce was always on time for everything.

   The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Mayo Clinic Health System Home Hospice, especially Kimberly and Emily; for their care, compassion, and empathy during this difficult time.

Coulee Region Cremation Group

Evans Print & Media Group

1302 River Rd.
P.O. Box 252

Sparta, WI 54656-0252

Office Number: (608) 269-3186
Fax Number: (608) 269-6876


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