Obituary: Betty Plumb, 78, Walhalla

September 25, 2018

Betty Plumb

Obituary: Betty Plumb, 78, Walhalla

Elizabeth “Betty” Plumb, 78, of Walhalla, passed away at Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids on Saturday, September 22, 2018 following a courageous battle with lung cancer. Betty was born in Julianadorp, North Holland, Netherlands on October 22, 1939, nine months before the Germans invaded and occupied the port town on the North Sea. She was the daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Breen) Vander Haag.

In May of 1955, Betty immigrated, along with her parents, and some of her siblings, to Fountain, Michigan, USA. The family had been sponsored by Jacob’s cousin, Ryn VanderHaag, who hired Jacob to manage his farm on Campbell Road, north of Millerton Road in Sheridan Township; an area commonly known as “Bear Swamp.” Many Fountain and Custer area kids worked on the “muck” farm, harvesting carrots and onions. Betty and her sister, Alie, were enrolled at Custer High School (later Mason County Eastern), where they were taught to speak English by their classmates.

Betty loved cooking, baking, and shopping. She cherished time with her children and grandchildren, and took on the role of family matriarch after the passing of her parents, keeping the family’s traditions alive;  she was very proud of her Dutch heritage.

Betty married Doug Plumb. Together, they operated Plumb Well Drilling in Byron Center, a motel in Flagstaff, Ariz., and later a salvage yard in Wyoming, Mich., before settling back in Mason County, where they owned and operated a charter boat company and Betty’s Restaurant, which she sold after Doug’s death and is now North Country Cafe.

More recently Betty worked worked as a waitress and then hostess at Big Boy of Ludington. She also worked for her nephew, Chris VanderHaag, at VanderHaag Car Sales of Scotville.        

Betty will be lovingly missing by her surviving life partner of 31 years, Everett “Woody” Woodworth. 

Betty is also survived by her children, Elly Biesbrock of Middleville, and Ron (Sandy) Plumb of Byron Center; step-daughter Shannan (Gene) Miston, Jr. of Walhalla; grandchildren, Tina Alexander of Middleville, Bill (Annette) Alexander of Wayland, and Nick Biesbrock (Autumn Johnson) of Nunica, Stacy Belka (Tommy Miller) of Dorr, and Rene’e (Luke) Warber, of Byron Center; step-grandchildren, Gene Miston III of Tallman Lake, and Ryan Miston, who is in the U.S. Marine Corps; seven great-grandchildren; sisters, Cora DeVries of Custer, Ypie “Ellie” VanderHaag of the Netherlands, and Alida “Alie” VanderHaag of Scottville; brother Fred VanderHaag of Scottville; several nieces and nephews.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Doug Plumb; her son-in-law, John Biesbrock; her brother, Siebe VanderHaag; and her brothers-in-law, Ron DeVries and Chris Slagt.

The family will hold a private graveside ceremony. Betty is being interred at Bachelor Cemetery in Sheridan Township. The family would like to say a special thank you to the team of Big Boy in Ludington for the special benefit that was held for Betty in the spring. Betty was also surprised and grateful to how many of you which voiced and gave support to her.                                                                                                        

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