Elizabeth L. “Betty” Dynek
June 15, 1940 – March 18, 2023
VISITATION begins Monday, March 27th at 5pm with a VIGIL at 6:30pm at West Center Chapel.
FUNERAL: Tuesday, March 28th at 10:30am at West Center Chapel. Interment: Calvary Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the Lincoln Children’s Zoo.
Elizabeth “Betty” Louise Dynek was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on June 15, 1940, to Lillian and Sidney Douda, the youngest of three children. She graduated from Omaha Mercy High School in 1958, and Creighton University in 1962 with a BA in Psychology. After college, she worked at Clarkson Hospital, eventually serving as the head of medical records.
While at Creighton, Betty met Donald “Don” Dynek, whom she subsequently married on January 30, 1965. Don and Betty spent the next few years living in Omaha, Panama City, FL, and Bellevue, NE. During this time, the couple had two sons, Greg in 1966 and Mark in 1971. In 1972, Betty and her family moved to Lincoln, where she lived until her passing.
In Lincoln, Betty’s energy and organizational prowess led her to volunteer her talents in a variety of community and philanthropic activities. She enjoyed working with AbendMusik, the Lincoln Symphony, and the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, for which she served as the foundation board chair. She sought involvement for the sake of getting worthwhile things accomplished with the expectation that meetings should be concise and to the point.
Betty had a passion for entertaining family and friends at her home and reveled in cooking something wonderful for her guests. She frequently cited Julia Childs’ advice that “every recipe could use one clove of garlic, or perhaps four.” She viewed cooking as a creative activity in which she could flourish. She introduced guests to beef wellington, steak au poivre, roasted capons, vichyssoise, escargot, and innumerable desserts. Betty’s description of a food as being light nearly always referred to its color as butter, sour cream, cream cheese, and other creamy ingredients would all work to make a dish “light.” This was the basis for her family’s informal motto, “Less may be more, but more is always more!”
Betty and Don loved traveling with their friends and family, eventually making it to six of the seven continents. The couple enjoyed snow skiing, driving through the mountains with car clubs, going on cruises, staying at their cabin in Minnesota, and visiting Hawaii whenever possible. They took their sons on many great adventures.
Betty loved music from an early age and was an accomplished classical pianist. Betty saw Elvis Presley perform live, which was a transformative experience for her as a 16-year-old. John Denver later became a favorite of hers as he enjoyed a nearly 10-year run at the top of the charts on her 8-track car stereo. Later in life, Betty found a team she could believe in with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. She famously declared that “Mahomes made football fun for grandmas again” and clearly relished the team’s Super Bowl successes.
Betty was most passionate about her family, for which she was a proud, faithful supporter and a fiercely protective defender. She kept track of her grandchildren’s activities and enjoyed their performances. Just as importantly, she refrained from commenting on the dissonance of grade school orchestras, the coordination-free element of early youth sports, or whose horse was the prettiest at every horseshow she attended.
Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Don, in 2015. She is survived by her sister, MaryAnn Hartley; brother, Jerry Douda; son and daughter-in-law, Greg and Peggy Dynek; their four children: Ellie, Sydney, Jimmy, and Jack; son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Carolyn Dynek; their daughters, Taylor and Anna.
Betty was a tremendous friend, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother. She lived and loved intensely. She always strove to go big or go home. With her final journey, Betty will now go to her home with Christ in Heaven. We will surely miss her.