Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE. This site exists as an archive of Today @ Colorado State stories between January 1, 2009 and September 8, 2014.

In Memory

Elizabeth Austre Berwanger

January 7, 2014

Elizabeth Austre Berwanger passed away peacefully at Lemay Health and Rehab Center on Dec. 29.

She was born in Crookston, Minn., to Herman and Thelma (Mikkelsen) Kohl in 1942. Her father was a U.S. Naval Officer and her mother taught high school English.

During her early years Betsy lived in California and Colorado. Upon the demise of her father, when Betsy was eight years old, her mother taught on Indian reservations. As a result, Betsy's formative years were spent on the Ignacio and Pine Ridge Reservations, where she also attended the local schools. During Betsy's teens, her mother was transferred to a job placement center for Native Americans in Minneapolis, and Betsy graduated from Bloomington High School and attended Macalester College. She also attended the University of Kansas where she was awarded a M.A. degree in French. She received a Fulbright Scholarship and spent a year teaching English in Albi, France.

In 1967, she took a teaching position at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Ill., where she met and married her husband Eugene (Gene). That same year they accepted teaching positions at Colorado State University and moved to Fort Collins. Betsy retired from teaching in 1970 to raise the couple's children, but was asked to return to CSU in 1980. She not only became very active in the regular program, but also took on the responsibility of advising students who planned on teaching French as a career. She retired from teaching in 2001. In addition to teaching, she served as secretary-treasurer to the Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers, where she supervised the budget and organized yearly conventions.

Over the years, Betsy belonged to a number of local organizations, including the League of Women Voters and the Larimer Chorale. She firmly believed that travel abroad enhanced one's appreciation for foreign cultures, and she enjoyed visiting her friends in Europe and hosting them in return.

Always known for her friendly smile and positive disposition, Betsy acquired friends and the loyalty of her students easily, many of whom continued to keep in touch after graduation. She is survived by her husband; a son Thomas; a daughter Anne (Johannes Zuechner), and a grandson, Simon Zuechner of Leipzig, Germany.

A service to celebrate Betsy's life will be held  at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10 at the Foothills Unitarian Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Mayo Clinic for Alzheimer's Research, in care of Allnutt Funeral Service, 650 W. Drake Road, Fort Collins, CO 80526.

Contact: Dell Rae Ciaravola