Ernsberger, Mary "Betty"

Mary “Betty” Ernsberger, age 98 of Wilmington, DE passed away November 6, 2023.

Betty was born in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia on March 26, 1925. She loved to go out dancing and during the years of World War II she spent many nights dancing with friends at the USO Stage Door Canteen in Center City Philadelphia. This is where she met her future husband, Don, while he was on leave, as his ship the USS New Jersey was being docked for repairs.

After the war Don and Betty were married and moved for a few years to Fremont, OH where they welcomed their son, Donald. They returned east in 1950 and began building a home in Horsham, PA. Soon after, they welcomed their daughter, Doreen.

Betty and Don meticulously took care of their home for the next 50 years and created many loving memories for their family. Together they collected and decorated their home with antiques discovered from various shops and flea markets. Betty loved flowers and took pride in growing a beautiful garden. She loved to feed and watch the birds that visited her numerous birdfeeders. She was active in the local women’s club and participated in numerous charity events. Over the years Don and Betty traveled across the US and Europe, participating in Elderhostel programs, enjoyed camping and other adventures together. They spent many winters as snowbirds in Florida. Eventually they downsized and moved to Wilmington in 2000.

Betty loved the beach and enjoyed visiting her second home in Rehoboth Beach, even after Don passed away in 2003. Rehoboth offered many attractions to Betty, including shopping at the outlets, garden stores, and gift shops, as well as many restaurants to enjoy.

More than anything Betty loved her family, and they loved her. She was always the life of any family gathering as she had an infectious and happy laugh.

Betty was predeceased by her parents, Ida and Robert Ward, as well as her husband, Don, and brother, Robert Ward. She is survived by her son, Donald Ernsberger (Louise) of Lansdale, PA; her daughter, Doreen McGrath (Patrick) of Wilmington, DE; and grandchildren, Michelle Son of Pottstown, PA, Michael Ernsberger (Nicole) of Penllyn, PA, Lindsay Dearing (Greg) of Hatfield, PA, and Lauren Crowder (Scott Heighton) of Hanover, MD. Betty was also blessed with 8 great-grandchildren: Sara and Conner Tuk, Sloane and Aaron Ernsberger, Caitlyn and Maya Dearing, and Mackenzie and Sofia Heighton.

The family wishes to thank the extraordinary care that Betty received from all the staff at Sunrise of Wilmington and Compassionate Care. They truly loved her as family.

The family will receive visitors on Saturday, December 2, 2023, from 9:00-10:00am at The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 1530 Foulk Rd, Wilmington, DE. A memorial service will follow at 10:00. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, Betty’s wishes were for donations to made to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

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by 2fish