Betty Lou (Cerise) McIlvaine passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home in Saratoga, Wyoming, Monday, May 13. The mother, grandmother, businesswoman and civic leader was 78.
Funeral Mass was held Tuesday, May 21, in St. Ann’s catholic Church with Father Jason Marco. Interment followed in the family plot at the Saratoga Cemetery, followed by a remembrance meal served by the Catholic Women in the Parish Hall.
Cerise was born July 28, 1940, in Leadville to Alvi B. and Elvira (Martial) Cerise and spent her childhood years in that town, graduating from Leadville High School in 1958.
Following graduation from Central Business College in Denver in 1960, she returned to Leadville where she was employed a secretary of public relations for the Climax Molybdenum Company where she met her future husband. She and Robert M. McIlvaine were married Sept. 8, 1962 at the Chapel of Angels in Denver. The couple moved to Denver and lived there until 1974 when they moved to the Lazy River Ranch south of Saratoga.
They sold the ranch in 1991 and moved to town where they entered the real estate business, acquiring rental and commercial property, which she operated until her death.
She was a member of St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Saratoga Council of Catholic Women, Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, Saratoga Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce, Snowy Ridge Ambassadors, Soroptimists, Snowy Range Cowbelles (now Cattle Women), Red Hat Society, Carbon County Stockgrowers and Farm Bureau.
McIlvaine enjoyed playing bridge at the senior center, took pleasure from visiting with friends, and was an avid reader. She loved sharing her time and life with friends and family, especially her children, grandchildren, mother and brother.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob, on July 1, 2005; a son, Michael, who was killed in a vehicle accident in 1989 and her parents.
Survivors include a daughter Michelle (Mike) McWain and a son Scott (Michelle) McIlvaine, all of Saratoga; grandchildren Ryan and Sierra Schutte, of Laramie; and a brother, Alvi Cerise, of Saratoga.
Persons wishing to make donations in her memory may do so to the Saratoga Middle/High School Cancer Walk, P.O. Box 1710, Saratoga, Wyoming, 82331.
Jacoby Funeral Home of Rawlings handled the arrangements.