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In Memoriam ~ Bett Pasela

Elizabeth “Betty” Pasela
Mother of Sarah Pasela
Grandmother of Ben Pasela ’26
Elizabeth “Betty” Pasela, 78 year old resident of Little Falls, MN passed away Friday, April 21, 2023 at her home in Little Falls, MN after a battle with cancer. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, April 27, 2023 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Little Falls, MN with Father Ben Kociemba officiating. Burial will take place in the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery north of Little Falls, MN. A visitation will take place from 4-7 P.M. on Wednesday at the Shelley Funeral Chapel in Little Falls, MN and from 10-11 A.M. on Thursday at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Little Falls, MN. Caring for Betty and her family is the Shelley Funeral Chapel in Little Falls, MN.  

Garage sales around the area will suffer following her death. Her children may be hosting one soon after looking at the contents of her basement. If you enjoy Christmas décor and napkins in over 50 different patterns, please watch for the advertisement in the local Record.  

Although she lived a slightly less than average life span, she did not live an average life.  

Not long after being born in Little Falls, Minnesota on April 30, 1944, she knew she wanted to be a nurse. There is an unprovable story of her taking the neighbor kids rectal temperatures with a play wooden thermometer in her early youth. She graduated from Little Falls High School and St. Cloud School of Nursing. What made the daughter of a carpenter and a homemaker decide to join the Peace Corps and zip off to West Africa? We will never know but thank God she did. She met a devilishly handsome fellow volunteer, Jerome Pasela, and they were married within a year in Togo. With such a quick engagement and marriage, it is surprising that Sarah was born 7 years later and Chris following on her heels three years after that, rounding out the infamous “Pasela kids”, some of best-behaved children ever.  

Betty was a nurse in many capacities and in many countries including Benin, Guinea, Burkina Faso, the US, South Africa, and Togo. She baked giant cookies for the neighbor kids on their birthdays. She had a cobra fall in the roof of the outhouse she was about to use. She danced a dance and it slithered out between her legs. She spent time with John Denver in Ouagadougou and he wrote a letter calling her and Jerry “heroes” as they did development work. She kissed scraped knees and helped her kids navigate the world. Betty earned the Department of State Meritorious Honor Award for her time treating Marines in Ouagadougou. After her precious Jerry died, she joined the Peace Corps again and spent time in South Africa helping patients with HIV as well as running away from hippos that crashed her wine sipping porch time. Her life has not been boring.  

Nana adored her three grand kids, Ben, Lilly and Lucy, and let them get away with crimes her own children would have been punished mightily for.  

Betty was a very good cook and a practical joker. She would never be described as shy. She spoke her mind. If you ever stood next to her during a parade and a politician she didn’t agree with walked by, you know what we mean.  

She loved God and was a devout Catholic with a deep faith. She said the best job she ever had was serving as Eucharistic minister for Our Lady of Lourdes.  

She will be welcomed by her mama, Helen Ring, her daddy, Leonard Ring, her brother Jim Ring, and her husband Jerry Pasela. They are sitting around a table discussing news or politics with a pot of coffee brewing and telling off color jokes.  

She will be deeply missed by her family and friends, her daughter Sarah (Chad Spahn), her son Christopher, her sister Mary (James Skoog), her brother Peter Ring (Dianne), and sister-in-law Pat Ring, her grandkids Benjamin Spahn, Lilly Pasela and Lucy Pasela as well as her many beloved friends.