Elizabeth “Betty” Mathilda Harthman


Elizabeth “Betty” Harthman passed away in her sleep on Monday December 26, 2022. She celebrated Christmas Eve enjoying her family and dessert she made with her daughters.

Elizabeth Mathilda Boyer was born on December 6, 1930, to John H. Boyer and Tillie Ament Boyer in Wadena, Minnesota. She was the oldest of 12 children.

Betty attended St. Ann’s Catholic school in Wadena and received First Communion and Confirmation at St. Ann’s Catholic Church. She graduated Valedictorian from Wadena’s public high school. She was an active member of the newspaper and yearbook staffs, editor of both in her senior year, as well as member of Girls Athletic Association. Math and Science were her favorite subjects.

Betty attended College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota. She received a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Home Economics with minors in Chemistry, Education and Philosophy. She was valedictorian and elected to Delta Epsilon Sigma, a national honor society. She edited St Ben’s school yearbook for two years, was president of the Women’s Athletic Association and member for three years; and member of the student council and home economics club.

When Betty was a freshman, she met her future husband Edgar “Ed” Harthman at a school mixer for students at the College of St Benedicts and St. John’s University. But they did not date until sophomore year. Dad once joked that she was too short for him as a freshman; and then she grew 6” between her freshmen and sophomore year. They were married in 1952 and settled in Minneapolis.

In January 1953, Betty received her teacher’s certificate in Home Economics, Chemistry and Philosophy from the State of Minnesota Department of Education. Later that year, she started teaching Home Economics and Science classes at Bird Island, MN. In 1954 she set up a new Home Economics department and taught both Home Economics and Science at Rosemount, MN.

In 1956, they decided to return to Ed’s birthplace, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands. During the 1959/1961 school year, Betty taught Home Economics and Science at Charlotte Amalie High School Grades 8,9,10. Then Betty and Ed started their family, and she became busy raising her three daughters.

Five years after moving to St. Thomas, the pastor of Sts. Peter & Paul Parish asked her to design a Home Economics program for the high school. During the 1965/1966 school year, she began teaching meal planning and preparation, and sewing courses in a Home Economics department located in the new wing of the high school.

Betty and Ed hosted numerous dinner parties, inviting friends, teachers, nuns and deacons from Saints Peter and Paul, and Friends of Denmark Society. She was well known for her culinary skills and flavorful dishes. Nary a person would turn down an invitation to her dinner party. Later, after she retired, her eldest daughter helped her assemble and produce “Betty’s Recipes” cookbook for the family.

Betty taught Home Economics courses until 1977 and served as high school yearbook advisor at Sts. Peter & Paul School. She then joined the administrative staff as Vice Principal. She was responsible for disciplining students and/or contacting their parents. She enjoyed providing motherly guidance to troubled students. Sometimes students returned as adults to hug and thank her. She always treasured these opportunities to make a difference in their lives. Betty retired in 1986 after 20 years at Saints Peter and Paul High School.

After retirement, Betty and Ed left St Thomas to be close to their daughters and grandchildren, as well as Betty’s mother and siblings. They spent summers in Minnesota where her daughters surprised her with a 75th birthday bash. The family went on Caribbean cruises to celebrate their 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries, and Betty’s 90th birthday cruise in 2019.

Winters were spent in Florida. Her eldest daughter and husband lived close by in Florida while her other daughters and grandchildren made multiple trips to visit. She also received numerous visits from siblings, as well as nuns from Saints Peter and Paul and College of St Benedict.

Betty is survived by three daughters: Jane (Keith) Warrelmann, Sarasota, FL; Suzanne (Tom) Andreasen, Shoreview, MN; Jacqueline (Jeff) Lunde, Cold Spring, MN; grandchildren Amy Radermacher (David Ratz), Vaughn (Kayla) Warrelmann, Nicole (Andrew) Brice, Quinn Andreasen and Garrett (Gail) Lunde; and great grandson Wyatt Brice.

One of Betty’s best friends summed up Betty’s life, perfectly: “She died the way she lived her life, calmly and peacefully. Never raised her voice.” Betty will be missed Lots & Lots.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, two brothers and one sister.

Funeral Mass will be held May 20, 11 AM, at Sacred Heart Chapel on the campus of College of St. Benedict, 104 Chapel Lane, St. Joseph, MN. Visitation 10 - 11 AM prior to mass. Interment at St John’s Alumni Cemetery, CR 159, Collegeville, MN. Reception and lunch at Rolling Ridge Event Center, 31101 County Rd 133, St Joseph, MN. You may proceed to Rolling Ridge and wait for us. Please join us, all are welcome.

Modulist Image