Born in 1935, in Apple River, Wisconsin, Bette grew up on her parent’s farm where she learned about toughness and hard work. She soon married Alan Waldo of Balsam Lake, Wisconsin, and they had three children. Tragically, in 1966, Alan died at the young age of 32, leaving Bette with three children.
Bette met her husband Joe Nistler in Minnesota in 1968, in part due to Joe’s cancelled Alaska Airlines flight which allowed for a formal date. Joe says he’s liked Alaska Airlines ever since. After a whirlwind romance, they were married and moved to Alaska in July of 1968. Bette’s love apparently knew no bounds, the new family lived in an old Quonset hut until more “suitable” housing was arranged in Big Delta. There Bette and Joe began a life of love and adventure that included snow machine races, rodeos – until Joe broke his jaw, building a beautiful home in the Clearwater, many camping trips with kids and grandkids, extravagant flower and vegetable gardens, and numerous exotic vacations with Joe around the globe. Bette was proud of her work on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, helping to pay for more farm land adjacent to their home.
More than anything, Bette loved her family, always there to offer guidance and support, generous with her time and resources – her actions led to the success of her boys and grandchildren. She was famous for her large family gatherings; there, with her husband Joe, her three boys and their spouses, grandchildren, and recent great grandchildren, they would meet to share her fabulous cooking and good cheer. In the spirit of those times, her family and a few close friends gathered during her final days, exchanging stories, expressing their love, and celebrating her life full of love and giving.
She is survived by her husband Joe Nistler; sons, Don Waldo, Dean Waldo, and Dave Waldo; daughter-in-laws Sharon Waldo and Crystal Stordahl; grandchildren Heidi Waldo, James Waldo, Donnie Waldo, Krista Meeks, Alan J. Waldo, Elizabeth Stordahl, and Mary Stordahl; great grandchildren Joseph Waldo and Everette Juhlin; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins, many of which still live in Wisconsin – whom she visited often and loved dearly; and a number of life-long friends who stood by her always.
At Bette’s request there will be no formal services and specifically “no damn potluck.”
In lieu of flowers, please donate on-line to the Breast Cancer Detection Center of Alaska at http://www.bcdcofalaska.org/donation/