Betty Gustafson, 84, passed away in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, on Feb. 5, 2020. She was the heart and soul of her family.
She was born April 21, 1935, to Elizabeth (Walsh) and Frank Mackey of the Bronx. After graduating from Blessed Sacrament Academy, she married her high school sweetheart, Henry Gustafson, in 1954. The two were later divorced. They had three daughters.
Excelling in stenography and typing, she took a position as a secretary in the Manhattan College athletic department in 1973. In doing so, she ensured each of her children would have access to a quality college education.
She loved working at Manhattan College, cheering on their basketball team, the Jaspers. She continued to work in the athletic department until her retirement in 1998.
As a retiree, she continued to follow college basketball, as well as her favorite team, the Yankees.
She was an avid reader, and enjoyed checking out murder mysteries from her local library. She was fond of word and number puzzles, and played a mean game of Scrabble.
She was a devoted mother and grandmother, playing a central role in the lives of her children and grandchildren, who loved her dearly. She was her family’s rock, ensuring they were always cherished and supported.
Her intelligence, dry wit and forthrightness balanced a loving and understanding heart.
She was preceded in death by her sister, Roberta “Bobbie” Marshall of Florida.
She is survived by daughters Karen Landau, Robyn Gustafson and Christine Gustafson, as well as son-in-law Greg Napolitano, and grandchildren Steven Landau, Jessica Landau, Gregory Napolitano and Daniel Napolitano.
She also is survived by her beloved and lifelong best friend Joyce Keenan, with whom she stayed close until the very end.
In keeping with her intrinsic humility, Betty Gustafson has asked there be no public ritual to mark her passing.
Please say a prayer and remember her with love.
Because Betty so enjoyed attending the beautiful holiday parties at Autumn Lake, her family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the activities department for Autumn Lake at Berkeley Heights. Those donations can be mailed to 35 Cottage St., Berkeley Heights, N.J., 07922.