Leona “Bette” Gorleski of Caro, age 99, passed away on Monday, February 10, 2020 at Heritage Hill Assisted Living in Caro. Bette was born October 15, 1920 in Pigeon, the daughter of the late Conrad & Mollie (Alles) Deering. She was raised on the family farm in Pigeon and was united in marriage with Alfred Gorleski on February 28, 1944. Alfred was serving in the Army at the time and Bette followed him to several states, before he served a tour in the Panama Canal. It was during this time that Bette worked as a “Rosie the Riveter” at the Lufkin Rule Factory in Saginaw before returning to work at her family farm. She proudly raised five children and sold Avon products before taking a position as manager of the catalog department of the J. C. Penny Store in Caro, retiring in 1983. In her retirement years, Bette was able to travel the world with Alfred, and enjoyed knitting, sewing, and crafting. She was an active member of St. Christopher Parish in Caro and its alter society, and organized countless funeral meals. She also baked pies with the Caro Knights of Columbus for the Pumpkin Festival for many years, and in 2018 was honored as the festival’s grand marshal. Bette was an avid bridge player and cherished time spent playing with her “three amigos,” Joanne Wendling, Lillian Waszak, and Margo Hahn. She was a resident of Heritage Hill Assisted Living in Caro for several years and the family wishes to extend their heartfelt gratitude for the loving care that was provided to Bette.
Left to cherish her memory are four children and their spouses, JoAnn & Donald McCrumb of Vassar, Connie & Stan Lacy of Columbia, South Carolina, Corene & Jerry Goodman of Davenport, Florida, John & Mary Gorleski of Highland Park, Illinois; daughter-in-law, Becky Gorleski of Vassar; six grandchildren, Wendy, Mary, Malissa, Mason, Teri and Eric; ten great-grandchildren; sisters, Elaine & Herb Neurath of Pigeon, Dorothy Hensel of Pigeon, Marge Goslin of Bay City; sisters-in-law, Shirley Deering of Pigeon, Dorothy Nartker of Shepherd; and many nieces and nephews. Bette was preceded in death by her loving husband of seventy-two years, Alfred, in 2016; her son, James; granddaughter, Randi; and siblings, William Deering, Mabel Arnold, Alice Glasgow, and Harold Deering.
In keeping with Bette’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A Memorial Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 14, 2020 at St. Christopher Parish, Sacred Heart Church in Caro. The family will be present to receive friends at the church on Friday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service at 11:00 a.m. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorial contributions to the Tuscola County Pumpkin Festival. The family was assisted with these arrangements by the Ransford Collon Funeral Home of Caro. Friends may share memories, thoughts and prayers online at www.RansfordCollon.com.

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