Floral 24

Alice (Beth) Elizabeth Reynolds

April 27, 1943 ~ January 11, 2022 (age 78)


Alice Elizabeth (Beth) Reynolds died peacefully on January 11, 2022. Beth was the “hub” of every group and will be missed by her family and friends that are scattered across many states.

Beth was born on April 27, 1943, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, the first daughter and middle child of Alfred and Alice (Marsh) Verner. Her childhood in Waupun, next to the Episcopal church, gave her many stories to share including running to her place in the choir loft on the Christmas Eve midnight mass in her slip, poking her finger in the bottom of all the boxes of Guth’s chocolates to make sure she didn’t have to eat one she didn’t like, and the many times that she and her siblings’ adventures were relayed from neighbor to neighbor so that they were known to both parents before they returned home. The Verners were active members in the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and their community.

Beth graduated from the University of Wisconsin (and was ever after known for singing Varsity at various intervals) where she was a member of Chi Omega. She took great delight in finding “Chi O” connections with other women but especially her niece, Susan.

After a short time working in the financial district in Chicago, she married Robert K. Reynolds (Bob) and settled with him in Wausau, and later, La Crosse, Wisconsin. Their house was always open for a gathering of friends to watch a Packer game or to cheer on the Badgers. Their only child, Robert K. Reynolds, Jr. (Robby) arrived in late Spring 1969 (it was hot enough that she ate several boxes of fudgsicles). Bob’s job selling insurance had the three of them moving to Jackson, Michigan in 1976. Beth was active in the Jackson Junior Welfare League, Ella Sharp Museum, Griswold Elementary library, and St. Paul’s Episcopal church where she was involved with several guilds and ministries. She worked at Jacobson’s Department Store and Anna’s gift shop for six months of each year. Once the ice left Douglas Lake she was packing the car for her annual pilgrimage north where she had so many friends and family. The Reynoldses cottage was always open to any and all that needed a place at the table or a bed for the night (you just might not get a pillow if you were outranked by adults). Beth’s annual cocktail party with Dorrit was a Lake highlight. As were outings for perch, boat rides, movies, and impromptu dance parties on the porch (Beth had a knack for burning CDs with everyone’s favorite songs).

Beth never met a person that she couldn’t find a connection with. She was known for her quick wit and stories. She made the best spaghetti sauce, pinwheel and shortbread cookies, and cocktail party foods (all with a glass of coke in one hand and, for several years, a cigarette). The arrival of her only grandson, Jack, in 2004, gave her an endless source of topics and a fellow brass band aficionado. Initially reluctant to embrace emerging technology, Beth became a fierce eBay buyer finding tracks, accessories, and Thomas train cars to surprise Jack with. (She’d be really upset about that sentence ending with a preposition.) Jack and “GrandLady” went to concerts, Wendy’s, and small adventures near the family cottage. And Beth went on to conquer the internet, Facebook, and texting.

Aunt Beth was loved by all her nieces and nephews and most were lucky enough to spend weeks at the Lake where they were spoiled with her attention. (It might have been confusing for other families but not hers that there was an Aunt Beth and a little Beth or three Alices.) Their children’s pictures were always on display on the refrigerators and talked about proudly. Beth loved visits to Georgia and Alabama and Wisconsin where there would be late night conversations solving all the world’s problems. No one could keep a family tree and all the connections straight like Beth. All of us benefitted from Beth’s fast knitting—hats, mittens, socks, and sweaters flew off of her needles.

Beth was good at just about everything she tried—she was the best mother-in-law in knowing that her son’s book-loving wife needed a few hours of uninterrupted reading at the cottage and carved out space for that by taking Jack to Big Stone Bay to pick up whitefish (where they knew her and about all of us) or on long walks up the road. “Lady” took in Terri’s family, too—so they have fond memories of her cookies, oyster crackers, and Christmas treats.

Beth is survived by her husband of 54 years, Bob; her son Robby (Terri); grandson, Jack; her brothers-in-law Sydney Pope Jones and Karl Jeffrey Reynolds, and sisters-in-law, Bonnie Verner and Marlene Reynolds; nieces and nephews; great-nieces and great-nephews; and so many friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother John, and sister Susie.

Bob, Robby, Terri, and Jack are very grateful for the care she received at Henry Ford Allegiance Health and for the thoughtful ministrations of Pastor Sarah Hurlbert.

We hope to celebrate Beth’s wonderful life with friends and family this summer. In the meantime, have a cold bottle of Coke and pick a good morning to sleep in or a good night to stay up late talking to a friend.


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