Elizabeth "Betty"'s Story
MORRIS - It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Betty Reiss, who passed away on June 30, 2017.
She had so many of you to thank for bringing happiness and laughter to her life. The drinks may no longer flow, but the memories and stories that surround her will live on for many years to come.
Born June 3, 1938, to Frederick and Elsie Hughes, Betty grew up a Jersey Girl, choosing motherhood over education at an early age. With her first son, Jerry (Johnson), she would soon meet and marry another man with the last name Johnson, and with him, bore two more sons, Billy and Thomas (Collins). Eventually, Betty and Tom Sr. divorced, and years later she would marry her second husband, Joe Reiss. Together, they had fraternal twins, John and Robin, and moved to the town of Morris in 1984. A World War II veteran, Joe was adamant about establishing a VFW that was until then non-existent in the town. Together, Betty and Joe spearheaded the drive that turned an old carriage house into a proud and vital VFW Post on Ellis Road. After 35 years together, Joe died in 1999.
For 25 years, Betty bartended at the Brookside Bar in Morris, pouring drinks, making friends and sharing her love of the party with so many of us all. Rum was her drink of choice. She didn't care much for a "certain" Metallica song, she was against drugs, but loved her cigarettes. When you saw Betty, it was never far from a crossword puzzle.
One particular friendship turned into a 15-year love affair with a very special and devoted man named Ed Dawyot. Betty always said Ed "swept her off her feet!" He loved and cared for her in sickness and in health. We especially express our sorrow and sympathy to Ed at the loss of his partner in life. Their home in the hamlet of Welcome is full of her beloved collectibles, and is surrounded by her gardening efforts. The backyard still resonates with the sounds of the last pool party.
Betty endured many losses in her lifetime, but most significant were the tragic deaths of not one, but two of her sons, Billy and Tommy. She got through by sheer will - a trait that she passed down to all her children. She instilled confidence, always provided, remained calm and didn't sweat the small stuff. She was a good mother and her greatest achievement was her family and all the cherished friends she was blessed with. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Betty is survived by her significant other, Edward Dawyot; and living sons, Jerry (Johnson), John (Reiss); daughter, Robin (Reiss-Pasternak); and stepchildren, Joe, David, Mary and Mark Reiss.
A celebration of Betty's life will be held at the Morris VFW on Sunday, July 16 (time to be announced). Please see John Reiss and Robin Reiss-Pasternak's Facebook pages and fliers will be hung at the Brookside and in the Morris area.
No donations or flowers at this time, please...just bring your love and your memories of Betty.
Online condolences may be made to the family www.johnstonfh.com.
Published on July 4, 2017