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Obituary for Steven C. Betz

Steven Craig Betz, 59, of La Crescent, formerly of Caledonia, died Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, at Gundersen Health System, La Crosse, from Autonomic Nervous System failure. Steve was born on September 23, 1958, in Caledonia, Minn., to Stanley and Shirley (Kuecker) Betz. Steve had medical trauma at birth. Many factors were at play, with the end result being he was born with cerebral palsy and anoxic brain damage. This brought a lifetime of seizures, limited speech, and other mental/physical disabilities. These hurdles never stopped him. His parents never excluded him, though at times, it might have been easier. Steve lived at both Rochester and Fairbault State Hospitals for approximately 8-9 years. The families of Houston County, Minn., built and established a group home in LaCrescent, where Steve lived his entire adult life. A lover of music (Christmas & Country), Steve looked forward to spending time with family and friends, singing, dancing, eating, and socializing. Whenever he ran into people he knew, he would greet them with a big handshake or hug and a “Hey Buddy!” Steve loved going for rides with his father in the truck, as well as helping with chores around the house. When asked to do something, his usual response was, “Okay Ma!” As a child, Steve spent many hours hanging out with the neighbor’s cats, cows, and dog; though they were all called ‘kitties’. Steve LOVED to work; and was recently recognized for 35 years of work/service at ABC Works, Inc., formerly Houston County Day Activity Center. He was one of the original employees for LaCrescent’s Small Change Diaper Service. Steve was instrumental in teaching people that there is more to a person than just their physical body. He was passionate and boisterous; with a strong opinion about what he wanted. He loved deeply with strength and compassion. He is survived by his siblings, Sheila Mengelt of LaCrosse, Wis., Scott Betz of Caledonia, Minn., and Sandra (Jim) Likely of Minneapolis, Minn.; niece and nephews, Danielle (Mike) Horton, Christopher Mengelt, Steven Likely, Gregory Mengelt, and Caleb Likely; and MANY loving friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Stanley and Shirley Betz. The angels sang as Steve danced his way to heaven on a silent winter night. Joy to the World, Buddy! There will be two memorial services: 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan 13, 2018, at Lancer House Group Home-ABLE Inc., 1770 Lancer Blvd., LaCrescent, Minn. and 11 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018, at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, 650 N. Kingston St., Caledonia, Minn. Visitation will be one hour prior to service. A luncheon in the church basement will follow the service. Interment will be at Evergreen Cemetery, Caledonia, Minn. Memorials or donations may be made to the St. John’s Jesus Cares. Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Homes and Crematory, Caledonia Chapel, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be sent at