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1936 Elizabeth 2023

Elizabeth Ovarsi

November 21, 1936 — January 16, 2023

Elizabeth Ovarsi known as Betti and affectionately, "Mrs. O" of Rutherford, passed away on January 16th at the age of 86. Proving that "you can take the girl out of Hoboken but not Hoboken out of the girl" Betti remained feisty and hilarious her entire life. She had a wicked sense of humor, and a one-of-a-kind-wit. She lit up a room with her contagious laugh. Betti was also amazingly kind and giving.
Born to Edna (Whelan) and Robert Ryan, Betti married another Hoboken kid, Gus Ovarsi in 1956. They bought their home in Rutherford in the mid-60s and raised their family there. As a teen, Betti was a huge Elvis fan, later her musical tastes turned to Patsy Cline and Lynn Anderson; her "cowboy music" always playing from her kitchen radio.
Betti was an amazing mom, sharing her zest for life and making the best adventures, parties and halloween costumes and supporting every idea, whim and activity of each of her children. Betti was a longtime Girl Scout leader, classmother, and also Cub Scout mom.
Betti's home was always open to all, she lived her mantra of "the more the merrier" any time of the day or night, anyone was welcome and met with a sandwich or snack and an art project of any kind was always just a moment away. Betti was constantly knitting or crocheting or working on some type of craft. She was ahead of her time with the 'Re-use, Re-cycle" idea: Betti could take any discarded item and make something fun, cute or handy out of it. Betti especially loved sharing her arts and crafts enthusiasm with others, whether it be schoolchildren, Girl Scouts or students at the Rutherford Adult School..
Besides her family, the other center of Betti's life was Washington School where Betti wore one hat or another, working there for more than 40 years. Living "half a block up at the top of the hill" Betti's devotion, dependability and dedication to the staff and students at the school are legendary. On weekends, Betti was known to scour garage and rummage sales, buying warm sweaters and coats and kids' Halloween costumes. If any child was in need, a swift run up and down the hill brought whatever was needed.
Betti spent many years knitting and crocheting hats, scarves and mitten sets for all of the children in the Immaculate Conception Orphanage in Lodi. Later, when her granddaughter Lacey was born prematurely, Betti began making tiny hats and booties for the preemie wards of several hospitals.
Though the madness of dementia intruded into her life, Betti remained physically fit and healthy, energetic, quick-witted, upbeat and helpful to others, right up until the end.
Betti was predeceased by her husband Gus and her son-in-law,, Ken Jeanneret in 2017. Also her parents, brothers Larry and Billy and sisters, Ella, Mitzi, Lillian and Roberta.
She is survived by her children and grandchildren: Michele Jeanneret of Howell, Jolyn and Jim O'Connor of Nutley and Gus Ovarsi Jr. of Oakland, Danielle and Anthony Dalfonzo and her only great grandchild, Gianna of Freehold, Lacey Garner of Charleston, SC, James Garner of Lyndhurst, Olivia Ovarsi and her mom Brenda Shafer of Tampa Fl and Cassidy and Charlotte Ovarsi and their mom, Jodi, of Rutherford.Betti also leaves behind her sister Margaret and Al Algeria of SC plus TONS of nieces and nephews and will be especially missed by Barbara Claveria of Rutherford who showed her aunt much kindness.
The family requests no flowers.
Instead, in Betti's honor, we invite anyone who would like to participate: we will be providing a generous donation to the Rutherford Public Library's Children's Room, for a much-needed replenishment of the non-fiction collection. Betti was passionate about arts and crafts and she especially enjoyed sharing her enthusiasm with others! Our donation will be used to purchase arts-oriented books and resources and other non-fiction materials. A book plate of her remembrance will be inserted in each one, so Betti may live on each time a child opens a book!
Jolyn & Jim OConnor will be matching every donation. If so inclined, Donations may be made to Jolyn O'Connor c/o Stellato Funeral Home, 425 Ridge Road, Lyndhurst NJ 07071.
Friends will be received Saturday, January 28, 10AM-1PM for a Memorial Visitation at the Ippolito-Stellato Funeral Home, 425 Ridge Road, Lyndhurst, New Jersey. Send condolences to

Memorial Visitation
Saturday, January 28, 2023
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Ippolito-Stellato Funeral Home - Lyndhurst
425 Ridge Road
Lyndhurst NJ 07071
(201) 438-4664

Funeral HomeIppolito-Stellato Funeral Home - Lyndhurst
425 Ridge Road
Lyndhurst NJ - 07071
(201) 438-4664

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elizabeth Ovarsi, please visit our flower store.


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