Elizabeth J. “Betty” Prusha
November 2, 1926 – November 13, 2022
She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard J. Prusha.
Survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, and special friends.
Mass of Christian Burial: Thursday, November 17th, 10AM at Christ the King Catholic Church, 654 S. 86th Street, with visitation starting at 9AM.
Memorials are suggested to Christ the King Catholic Church.
Betty Prusha was born November 2, 1926, to Joseph Sittler and Sarah Gillam Sittler in Merna, Nebraska.
Her family owned and operated a combination mortuary and furniture store that served the small sandhills community in central Nebraska. Times were difficult when Betty grew up in those late years of the Great Depression, yet the family managed through savings and “making due” to get through.
Upon graduation from Merna High School in 1944, Betty came to a realization that there were greater experiences and opportunities to be had in the bigger cities on the eastern side of the state. This led her to Omaha, where she heard that Mutual of Omaha was hiring high school grads in anticipation of increased business following the conclusion of the war. She took an entry-level position in 1946 as a messenger, whose job was to receive and deliver communications and reports throughout the massive, eight-story building on Farnam Street. After a couple of successful years, she was promoted to special messenger, which involved working with the higher levels of management at Mutual. From this assignment, she was able to better understand the workings of the company and learn about other job opportunities within the organization. This led to her application and acceptance of a secretarial position in building/property management and eventual promotion to manager of general services.
Betty was one of the first woman directors of the company and held that position until her retirement from Mutual after forty years of service. She was known by her direct reports to be “firm but fair.” In her post-work years, she maintained relationships and friendships with many of those she had hired years before.
Since arriving in Omaha, she was active in the LaSalle Club, a Catholic social organization for young adults. It was through this involvement she met the love of her life, an attractive bachelor named Richard Prusha. They were married in September 1959 at Holy Cross Church in Omaha. Their attempts to start a family did not meet with success, but they carried on as a happy couple.
Betty and Dick had several residences during their 53 years of marriage that kept them busy with remodeling, along with enjoying lawn work and gardening. They played in many golf leagues and card groups, making new friends. They enjoyed escaping Nebraska winters with trips to Texas or Southern California.
Following Dick’s death in 2012, Betty became a resident at Brighton Gardens in Omaha to better manage dementia and memory issues. She enjoyed the social interaction and the kindness of their caregivers. Betty always enjoyed a dish of ice cream after every lunch and dinner and often recited the old phrase, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.”
All through life, Betty kept a cheerful, positive approach throughout all challenges. Her faith and dedication to the rosary were a part of her upbeat outlook. She loved and was loved by all those she came in contact with.