Bette Schubert

August 6th, 2021

By Karen Osburn, City Historian

On May 28, 2021 Historic Geneva and many other organizations in Geneva lost a good friend and supporter when Bette Schubert died in Elgin, Illinois.

elderly couple

Bette Schubert with her husband Ron.

I met Bette for the first time in early 20o1 when I came to the Historical Society to apply for the position of archivist.  Bette was the administrative assistant for the Historical Society and I didn’t know at that time that we would become friends.

Bette was a person who was very involved in her community.  So many organizations benefited from her skills and desire to volunteer.  She was the clerk of Session for the Presbyterian Church in Geneva and volunteered for Geneva Reads and Geneva General Hospital.  She and her husband, Ron, were involved with Friends of the Geneva Public Library; they volunteered for the library’s twice a year book sales, Whale Watch music festival, the Mussel Man Triathlon, and the Strawberry Festival at the Presbyterian Church.

Bette was at every fund raiser the Historical Society held.  She worked the Wassail Bowl, Celebrate the Harvest at Rose Hill, the Tour of Homes, the Women’s Council events, the annual Membership meeting and dinner.  For many years she invited her coworkers to lunch at her home in December. If there were ways she could help the organizations she cared about, she helped.

Bette also organized fund raising trips for the library and the Historical Society.  The first trip I went on was to West Point and some of the well-known mansions in the Hudson River Valley. After that I went on almost every trip she helped coordinate.

Bette was an excellent cross-stitcher and many of us who knew her were gifted with her handy works. Her framed, cross-stitched images were often donated to fund raising auctions at her church.

elderly woman reading to a child

Bette Schubert wither her great-granddaugher

When I moved to Geneva in 2004 Bette supplied food for everyone who helped me move and she offered encouragement when the moving process stressed me to frustration.  She also introduced me to people who became my friends to this day.

I knew Bette for 20 years and I miss her.  She was one of those people you don’t encounter as much anymore; Bette as a joiner.  When I came to Geneva, she was part of a much larger group of volunteers who could be counted on by the non-profit organizations in Geneva to help with many tasks.  There are many good people who have helped non-profits in our city with many events and day to day tasks.  Since there is no way I can list them all I’ll only mention Bette, but I am certain that everyone who reads this tribute to Bette can name someone else who was an invaluable volunteer to a cause or organization close to your heart.  If you can, pass on your memories of them to others.  Perhaps, we can inspire another generation of joiners and volunteers.

Historic Geneva tells the stories of Geneva, New York.  Discover  these stories online and in person through the Geneva History Museum, Rose Hill Mansion, and Johnston House.


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2 responses to “Bette Schubert”

  1. John LaBuff says:

    Bette was aces in my book. Our first encounter was in the Lobby Shop. Always had a big smile and a hello for everyone.
    Her husband Ron was very active in the American Legion.
    They were certainly a wonderful couple.

  2. Joanne Wisor says:

    Karen, you have written a lovely tribute. She and Ron loved the yacht club and Ron often photographed events there. Geneva was fortunate to have them for awhile..

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