Betty M. Paskach

Honored by:The Paskach Children
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We don't know how she did it - nine kids, a husband, and usually a pet of some kind to care for, but she did it. In today's society, she is a woman you will not find equaled. It is with great pride that we, her children, honor our mother, Betty Paskach, as our personal heroine in the Plaza of Heroines at Carrie Chapman Catt Hall. She has always selflessly done the best for her children and sacrificed daily to ensure we had the guidance and principles that would make us loving, decent, and successful people. Here we each reflect on our mother with the utmost love respect and admiration.

"Mom always knew the value of education. She was the first in her family to graduate from high school and insisted her kids set their sights on a college education. As such, Mom inspired us to make life an ongoing learning experience. Sunday afternoon drives or picnics often turned into impromptu science or history lessons. And, vacations always held some new opportunity for us to learn. We took trips to the iron ore mining range, Indian ruins, and other points of interest. While on the way Mom helped us identify various species of plants and wildflowers along the roadside." --Jan

"Mom inspired me to be all that I could be. She started as early as I can remember telling me that I could accomplish whatever I decided - I only needed to apply myself to accomplish my goals. She provided me with "All About books" to inspire me to learn about as many things as possible.

I was often very sick as a child and Mom always found the time and energy to see to it that I got the care I needed. She spent many hours caring for me and making me feel special while nursing me back to health. She also presented a model of determination and strength in the many moves that we had to make while we were growing up. Mom faced the challenges of leaving her friends packing our belongings and encouraging us all to join in and help our family successfully join in our new community. She has set an example as a parent that all of us can only hope to emulate. I gain greater respect every day for the strength, selflessness and great love that Mom has always shown to all of her children." --Chris

“I first knew her as my mother, and after 13 years of my own marriage, I am only beginning to understand her identity as a wife. And only lately I can appreciate her identity as a woman. She made raising nine kids look easy! I remember a mother who was filled with love and patience. Not many mothers would put up with a rock and roll band practicing in the basement or on the front porch of our house in Spencer. That's probably why we usually practiced at our house. I remember when I got my first amplifier and Mom and I spent time harmonizing a Beatles song after everyone else had gone. She has a great voice! One of the things that Mom gave me that I have used throughout my life is the feeling that you should not be afraid to try or experience new things - to enjoy life to the fullest you should let your interests lead you where they will and you'll surely find what makes you happy. Thanks Mom." --Steve

"I'm confident that Mom considers her greatest success to be the family she raised and nurtured. It is hard to believe that one of nine children (one of the middle ones no less) could feel that his mother always had more than enough time to spend with him. I still vividly remember the time Mom and I had together when I was going to kindergarten half days in Cresco, IA. Dad was at work, my older "sibs" were still in school, and Mom and I had the run of the house. Even though I had baby sisters at home, it seemed that Mom had ample time for me. Together, we cleaned, read, sang,crafted, and gardened. These are my oldest memories, and Mom made them some of my best memories. She also took excellent care of me when I was in high school, running in all directions and burning the candle at both ends. I always had plenty of oranges on hand and I was frequently fed my favorite dinner of pork roast. And, I was allowed to sleep in whenever Mom recognized that I was exhausted. She could do it all. She was, and is, always there for me and I know that all her children feel exactly the same." –David

"Whenever I was getting ready for some new social situations and was a little nervous, Mom would always say 'Just be your own sweet self and everyone will love you.' That was the ultimate compliment as far as I'm concerned.

She taught us that the best things in life are truly free...the world's greatest works of art, music. and literature are there for us to enjoy freely. Mom has always set extremely high standards for her own morals and behavior and we have always tried to live up to her expectations. She has always been involved in and up-to-date on the politics of her community state and nation. She has always been there for us in times of need as well as in times of celebration. She sets an example of unselfish giving that is so rare today- giving to her children, grandchildren, church and community constantly. Mom always put up with my creative impulses and basically allowed me to be myself. Thanks Mom, I love you.”- Gail

‘I hope that my child looks back on today and remembers the mom who took time to play. There will be plenty of time for cleaning and cooking, for children grow up while we are not looking’
“This poem reminds me best of our Mom-always putting her husband and kids first. Truly, these are words to live by as we try to raise our own children now. I can still see Mom sitting at the sewing machine at all hours, trying to make beautiful matching Easter dresses for Gail and I, or a special Halloween costume we were so proud to wear! In particular, I recall a wonderful Indian maiden dress Mom spent countless hours on- I was so thrilled with this dress and with my hair in braids, I felt like Pocahontas! I only hope I can do half as well with my own kids- I have pretty big shoes to fill! We love you Mom!”- Carol

“One thing that strikes me most about my Mom was her continual sacrifice for her husband and family. I think about the number of times that we moved while we were growing up to follow Dad’s job opportunities. I know it was Mom’s ability to keep the family united that made it possible for us to endure a lot.  Mom and dad were able to create for us an environment of love that enabled all her children to grow into strong, healthy and loving adults. Just as important, I’m amazed at how much mom was able to do personally for me considering she had eight other children to raise. I have said many times as an adult how much Mom made me feel special and unconditionally loved. I can’t count the number of times she would tell me that I was smart of handsome.  I think by telling her kids these things she was instilling confidence that no one could ever take away. I hope that as I begin to build a family of my own, that I can love my wife and children as much as Mom loves me, my brothers and sisters, and Dad. Thank you Mom for all the love you have given me. It is because of your sacrifice and attention that I am who I am today. I love you Mom”- Rich

“My mother, even with all the kids she had to care for, always found time to be there for me, and all my brothers and sisters. I guess I was very forgetful as a child, because I remember having to call home for things I forgot to bring to school with me. Football shoes, school books, sack lunches and permission slips for field trips would all be delivered to a little boy who always knew he could count on his mother.  All of her love and selfless work in raising her extra large family has been well received and appreciated by all of her children. But, I would like to thank her now and let her know that in giving up the opportunity to go to school and raise our family, our world is a much better place- or at least, our little corner of the world.”- Ron

“I remember the day I left for college. Ron and I packed up the U-Haul with just about all my possessions as I prepared to ‘make a break from the nest.’ I remember some of my friends just dying to get away from their parents and be free. Not me. I remember not really wanting to go at all. Of course, I knew I was going. I think I had always known that, thanks to my parents, there was never any question about it. Still, I liked the security and stability of my home. And, since leaving for college nine years ago, I have always felt like I really had it good when I still lived at home. However, in college, I received such great support from my parents that I really didn’t suffer like most college students, and for that, I’m truly grateful. When I would play my trumpet for concerts in the ISU Wind Ensemble, they would frequently make the trip to Ames to see me play. And that meant more to me than they know.”- T.J.

A little about our mother…Betty Mae Ramsbottom was born in Creston, IA, on January 22, 1928. She traces all her lines back to England; however she also has a very significant US genealogy. She married Howard Benjamin Paskach in Omaha, NE, on June 25, 1949. Several of her children attended Iowa State, six of whom are graduates of Iowa State University. The ISU alumni include Chris ’75, Steve ’79, David ’80, Gail ’82, Ron ’90, and T.J. ’90.

Submitted on 1/7/95

Paver Inscription:

"Betty M. Paskach
She is Far More
Precious Than
Proverbs 31:10"