Obituary for Bette Fancolly

Bette Fancolly, 95, of Atlantic, passed away Thursday, February 9, 2017, at Cass County Memorial Hospital.

Bette Kathleen was born on April 2, 1921, in Dunnell, Minnesota, one of eight children, born to George and Maude (Minor) Sewell. At the time of Bette's passing she was the oldest living sibling. She grew up in Emmetsburg, IA, during the depression. When she would talk about her childhood she often commented that even though times were tough, her parent's provided what they needed. During her childhood the family spent countless hours, that included fishing and picnics, at Five Island Lake. She graduated from Emmetsburg High School in 1939, and furthered her education at Emmetsburg Junior College.

After her schooling Bette began working at Bell Telephone in Emmetsburg as a phone operator. A job opening in Atlantic led her to meeting her future husband, John Fancolly. The couple married on November 10, 1945. As her career continued she obtained the position of Chief Operator, holding this position for several years until her retirement. During her time at the phone company she developed lasting friendships that in retirement led to daily reminiscing over coffee and putting together puzzles. Bette was a member of the Pioneers, which was the phone company's outreach branch to serve in the community.

Bette was an active and past board member of Cass County Meals on Wheels. During their annual thank you luncheon she worked many hours assembling table decorations. There was nothing Bette enjoyed more than sitting on her deck looking out over the trees, watching the birds, deer and any other wildlife that may have been in the area. The farm was her sanctuary, and it brought her back to her childhood days at the lake. Bette loved to visit and when she wasn't out physically with friends she would send daily emails. They often included what she was thinking and descriptive images of what she was seeing; her words flowed from an experienced writer.

Bette is survived by her sons, Ken (Peggy) Fancolly of Leawood, KS and Mike Fancolly of Atlantic, IA; grandchildren, Chris Fancolly, Travis (Arienne) Fancolly and Beth Fancolly; great-grandchildren, Jesse, Logan, Ian, Chloe and Hayden; brothers, James (Karen) Sewell of West Bend, IA and Wayne (Lucille) Sewell of Emmetsburg, IA; many nieces and nephews; and numerous cousins.

She is preceded in death by her parents, George and Maude Sewell; sisters, Joyce Bunn and Nan Cook; and brothers, Kenton, John and Gene Sewell.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, February 13, 2017, at the United Church of Christ in Atlantic, with Reverend Nancy Jensen officiating. Burial in the Atlantic Cemetery will be held after a time of fellowship at the church. Visitation with the family will be held prior to the service at the church starting at 10:00 a.m.

Memorials may be made to Cass County Memorial Hospital Meals on Wheels.

Roland Funeral Home is caring for Bette's family and her arrangements. Condolences may be left at

Bette K. Fancolly

April 2, 1921 ~ Dunnell, Minnesota

February 9, 2017 ~ Atlantic, Iowa
At the age of
95 years, 10 months & 7 days

11:00 a.m., Monday, February 13, 2017
United Church of Christ ~ Atlantic, Iowa

Reverend Nancy Jensen

“What A Wonderful World” by Michael Buble

“Hallelujah” by Cloverton

“The Prayer” by Josh Groban and Charlotte Church

Travis Fancolly
Chris Fancolly
Logan Fancolly
Jesse Fancolly
Steve Cook
Gene Sewell

Atlantic Cemetery ~ Atlantic, Iowa

The family invites you to join them for
fellowship immediately following the service.

The family has suggested that memorials
be made to Cass County Memorial Hospital Meals On Wheels.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bette Fancolly, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.

Order Flowers