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Elizabeth Jean Cristiani

May 21, 1930 — February 2, 2023


Elizabeth Jean Cristiani

Elizabeth Jean Reichmuth-Cristiani    Born 05/21/1930, transitioned: 02/02/2023

(I have chosen to dictate my own obituary for I think I am the one that knows the most about me.  I have also chosen humor, I believe it is a healer for sadness and bumps and bruises we all experience at some point in our journey through Life. So, kickback, relax and hopefully enjoy!)

Elizabeth (Betty as she was affectionately called) Jean Reichmuth- Cristiani, peacefully departed this life on February 2, 2023.  Betty was born at an early age in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 21,1930.  She grew up in Ripon, Wis. And enjoyed all the childhood activities that were common at that time such as: kick the can, sledding, picnics, and of course many white Christmases. As a girl scout, Betty marched in the towns’ annual parade and also during WWII helped to fold bandages in the basement of the local bank.  During her summer vacations, Betty worked at the local cookie factory where the perks were gathering warm cookies right off the conveyer belt on the way to the bake room.  Betty also volunteered one summer to work at her local hospital but soon decided that she and Florence Nightingale had nothing in common. Betty graduated from high school in 1948, briefly attending Ripon college then went on to Milwaukeee to attend a private secretarial school majoring in the medical and legal fields.  During her summer vacations she travelled through most of the U.S. also including an overnight trip to Havana Cuba.

After working 4 years in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Betty chose to move west to Denver Colorado. After another 4 years Betty had another destination in her sight; San Francisco. She moved there in 1958 and met her future husband, Lawrence Cristiani. Briefly residing in Redwood City they moved to Geyserville where they managed a multiple acre prune farm. Neither knew anything about prunes other than they came in a box from a grocery store.  They soon became quick learners. They moved to Calpella in 1964, (the year of the great flood) , and operated a 30 acre vineyard. In 1966 Betty worked at Mendocino State Hospital as a Psychiatric Transcriptionist. 1968 she decided to become a stay at home mom and did so for 9 years.  To keep her sanity Betty again joined the workforce and became a Senior Medical  Transcriptionist  at Ukiah General  Hospital and later joined Ukiah Valley Medical Center where she retired in November 1991 after 15 years of service.

Betty soon found her way to the Ukiah Senior Center where she attended many Saturday night dances, her motto being:  have shoes will dance!  Betty loved all kinds of music and always had music playing in the house.  Betty was soon asked to volunteer at the Daily Activities desk for the Senior Center, where she was a cheerful presence for 15 years.  She always felt that was the best gig in town, taking people’s money and telling them where to go. She also became a member of the advisory panel, and initiated a program called Operation Friendly Voice when she saw the need for a welfare check for those living alone. Betty operated this daily program for four years, 24/7 including holidays. Betty also started the first annual benefit for Special Olympics at the Senior Center as a way to honor Special athletes and their families each February.  Betty organized this benefit for 10 consecutive years!

One of Betty’s hobbies was writing poetry, strictly for her own benefit.  She also enjoyed sports being an avid fan of a variety of sports venues. Always mentioning her Green Bay Packers Atlanta Braves, and NASCAR. Betty is survived by her children; Dave (Liz) of Willits, CA. Anne (Orell) and Larry (Margaret) of Ukiah, and Danny (Tara) of Idaho, seven grandchildren:  David, Robbie, Jason, Trevor, Lexi, Dalton, Ashton, and six great grandchildren: Eamon, Atticus, Amelia, Ely, Blake, and Tripp.

Betty was pre-deceased by her loving parents, her brother Richard, and by her infant son, Edward Joseph. Betty wishes to be buried in her family’s plot in Ripon, Wisconsin. 

According to Betty’s wishes there will be a celebration of her life in the very near future, so stay tuned!

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


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