Constenius, Betty Joan 90

Betty Joan (Kotila) Constenius passed away peacefully at Cokato Manor on October 23, 2023, after a 9-month courageous battle with both squamous cell cancer and CLL (Leukemia).

She was born to Walter Johnson & Afton (Dobbs) Johnson on June 6, 1933, in Golden Valley, MN. She lived in Golden Valley until she was two years old when her family moved to a farm north of Cokato. She started school at The Dewey School, Dist. No. 128. After first grade the family moved to Howard Lake where She graduated from Howard Lake High School in 1951. She was working at the local Farm Store when she met Earl Kotila.

Betty and Earl were married September 26, 1953, in Howard Lake, MN. Their marriage was blessed with two sons, Kenneth & Leslie. Earl passed away in 1959. Betty met & married Frank “Richard” Constenius February 8, 1961, in Emmetsburg IA and their marriage was blessed with two more sons, Garret, and Brian. Betty lived all her married life north of Cokato, moving into the Cokato Apartments after Frank’s passing in 2018 and Brookridge Assisted Living in 2021.

All but one of Betty’s jobs were in manufacturing. She worked seasonally at Green Giant in Cokato, full time as an assembler for Tonka Toys, then at CTS starting out in shipping, became APICS certified and moved to production control until she retired in 1998.

Betty enjoyed watching nature, the changing of the seasons. From the trees budding and fruit trees blooming to the vibrant fall colors. Not only watching but also listening to the large variety of birds sing as they returned to her yard in the spring through summer and into the winter with the bright red Cardinals against the white snow. In the 1970’s she spent many hours on her snowmobile enjoying the wooded areas of Northern Minnesota and the local riverbeds. Gardening, both vegetables and flowers was another enjoyment for Betty from the planting and watching them grow to the harvest. When she was not outside or working, she was either doing needle work (all kinds) or keeping the cookie jar full for her boys. If she had any spare time, she enjoyed antiquing at auctions and garage sales.
Most of all Betty enjoyed people. She loved socializing with family, friends, and neighbors. Always a smile on her face she was truly the kind of person that “never met a stranger.”

Survivors include sons Ken (Joanne) Kotila, Garret Constenius, Brian (Carol) Constenius, daughter-in-law Carolyn Kotila, eight grandchildren, sixteen great grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren and sister Geri Horsma.

Betty is preceded in death by her parents Walter & Afton, spouses Earl and Richard, son Leslie Kotila, siblings Doris Eggersglus, Rose Erdman, and Ramond Johnson.

A visitation & gathering for friends and relatives will be from 12 pm to 2 pm on Saturday, November 4, 2023, at the Cokato Township Hall with a brief memorial service at 2 pm. Interment will be at the Cokato Finnish Cemetery at 2:45 pm.