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Date of Birth: November 15, 1933

Date of Death: August 30, 2023

Betty Joan (Carlson) Lentz, age 89, passed away peacefully at the Fellowship Square Oasis Memory Care in Surprise, Arizona on August 30, 2023, supported by her close family. Betty was born in Kelly Township, Illinois on November 15, 1933 to Robert and Alice (Johnson) Carlson and graduated from Galesburg High School in 1951. After high school she married William Mecum who passed away in 1982. She remained in Galesburg and worked as a dental assistant and office manager for many years before retiring in 1995. She began a new life with Thomas Lentz when they were married on Valentines Day, 1985 in Galesburg. After Tom's retirement, Betty and Tom began a series of new adventures that took them on multiple Elderhostel trips across the United States and Europe. They split their retirement years between Sun City Grand in Surprise, Arizona, and Northern Minnesota for nearly 20 years. During this time, they volunteered at thrift shops, worked and stayed at the Grand Canyon, and spent many happy years helping out at the Half Moon Trail resort in Park Rapids, Minnesota. Betty was a lifelong member of the Lutheran Church and involved in many ways, including serving as a Stephen Minister. She was an excellent cook, known for her Swedish meatballs and “Des Moines chocolate chip cookies” (they never lasted past Des Moines when heading West). She was also an accomplished quilter, making many beautiful quilts that she often gave away to friends and the various churches she belonged to. Betty was an upbeat, easy-going, witty person who will be missed by all. She is survived by her husband Tom who stayed closely by her side throughout her long illness. She is also survived by her brother, Bob (Gail) Carlson, of Sun City West, Arizona. She has three step-children and two step-grandchildren and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends across the country. She was preceded in death by her parents and her first husband. The family would like to thank the staff at Fellowship Square Oasis, hospice staff and other residents for the kindness and support they provided to Betty during her last months.

Service Information

A small family gathering will be held with inurnment in the columbarium at American Lutheran Church in Sun City at a future date.


In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the Alzheimer's Foundation or to American Lutheran Church.