The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Betty J. Soltis


HARTFORD, Wis. - Betty J. Soltis, 75, of Hartford, completed her journey on life's path with us on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, with her loving family by her bedside.

Betty (better known as Bunny to her family and friends) was an amazing, talented woman, who led a full and wonderful life. The world will be a little smaller without her presence and love, but she will live on in our hearts.

Betty was born July 24, 1941, at Runstrom's Hospital in Ironwood, Mich., to the late Joe and Betty (Zack) Potinsky.

In Ironwood, she attended Sleight Grade School, Roosevelt School in Ironwood Township, and then graduated from Luther L. Wright High School, Class of 1959. During her high school years, Bunny met the love of her life, Butch, at the local A & W, where she carhopped. She found him not to only be handsome, but also a big tipper. (A dime root beer, a dime tip.)

Upon graduation, Bunny moved to Minneapolis, where she found employment as a receptionist at the Foshay Tower. Distance and the U.S Air Force could not keep the two from writing to each other and to continue the growing love they had.

On Aug. 24, 1960, she married her love, Joseph (Butch) Soltis at the Holy Trinity Church in Ironwood. She and her husband moved to and worked in Milwaukee, where they started to grow their family with three beautiful children, Trudy, Joel and Tracy. Bunny so loved being a loving wife, kind, caring mother and homemaker. It is here that she started her working career as her children started to grow. She gained experience as a clothing sales clerk at Goldman's Store on Mitchell Street, then moved on to became a bank teller, where she developed her interpersonal skills. Bunny loved working and interacting with people so much. She moved on to be a lead checker at Sentry Foods, advancing to office manager.

Butch and Bunny then moved their family to the town of Hartford in 1973. Here, Bunny continued to grow as a strong, independent woman, continuing her education with adult classes to further herself and family. She gained employment at the Hartford Hospital as a lab technician, providing stress tests to patients. After time, she decided to resume her career at Sentry Foods, as a checker and office manager, until Sentry closed its doors in the 1980s.

With this newly gained freedom, she was able to pursue her plethora of interests and talents, such as flower and vegetable gardening, canning, collecting plants and herbs to make healing salves, tinctures and making natural soaps and lotions.

Bunny became quite masterful with experimenting with flavors and ingredients to make a variety of excellent wines in crocks. All of Bunny's life, she excelled as a seamstress, a master of knitting projects. She loved making clothing, large colorful bags and baby dolls for her grandchildren. She later was able to expand her sewing enjoyment by adding an embroidery machine to her favorite past-time.

Bunny enjoyed music and loved to dance. She even took classes to learn to belly dance. She was kiddingly referred to as "Betty Jean, the Dancing Machine." Her real talent and true zeal was in painting. She took classes and honed her skills for painting of varied subject matter and in mediums with oils and acrylics. The pieces that she produced were truly inspiring and enjoyed by the many friends and family who received her art.

The best thing about Betty, "Bunny," "Honey," "Mom" or "Mom Betty," as many of her children's friends thought of her, was that she was always true to herself and those who surrounded her. She loved you with a depth and a passion unmatched by any. She encouraged all to do and be or become the best they could. She gave of herself unselfishly and in ways that you knew you were truly loved and cared for. As she said, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

She was preceded in death by her son, Joel; parents, Joe and Betty Potinsky; and father- and mother-in-law, Joseph and Impi Soltis.

Betty is survived by her husband, Joseph "Butch" Soltis, of 57 years; daughters, Trudy (Tom) Schellinger, Hurley, and Tracy (Bob) Larson, Ironwood; grandchildren, Nicole and Leah Schellinger, Josh (Michelle) Bricco, and Kortney and Sterling Larson; five great-grandchildren; brothers, Tom Potinsky, Wausau, and Joe (Loreli) Potinsky, Ironwood; sisters, Sandy (Butch) Hein and Linda (Mike) Magdziak, both of Ironwood; sisters-in-law, Jeanette Coroleuski, West Forks, Ark., Annette (Ray) Porter, Marshfield, and Sheri Soltis, Rockford, Ill .; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, March 3, at 10:30 a.m., preceded by visitation in the St. Joseph Family Room at 9:30 a.m., at Our Lady of Peace Church in Ironwood, with the Rev. Robb Jurkovich, celebrant.

Luncheon will follow in the parish hall.

Rite of Committal and interment will be in Sunset Acres Cemetery, Ironwood Township, in the spring.

Arrangements have been entrusted to McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home Inc., Ironwood. Condolences may be expressed online at

"If we could sit across from the porch of God, we would thank Him for lending us you. Life is not forever, but love is - our love and memories are stronger than death. So, go and continue to be free to fly with the angels and dance with the stars."


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