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Elizabeth “Betty” Rose (Finn) Carney Budler

10/07/1930 - 06/13/2024


With heavy hearts, we bid farewell to our beloved Betty Budler, who closed her last real estate deal by securing her forever home in Heaven on June 13, 2024. After a year-long illness, Betty died peacefully in her sleep, surrounded by three of her children. Her departure leaves a profound void in our lives, but her legacy of love, kindness, optimism, and strength will forever remain in our hearts.

Born on October 7, 1930, at home on the family farm in Carroll NE, Betty was the fifth (and second girl) of seven children born to Matthew and Mary (Ahern) Finn. The family moved to a farm west of Wayne NE where Betty grew up and rode her horse “Buck” to get the mail.

She was educated in a one-room schoolhouse with her siblings until high school. Betty was proud of her perfect eighth-grade math assessment score – top in the State. Her parents moved to Norfolk, NE when she was in high school. She graduated from Norfolk Catholic High School in 1947, along with her future husband, the late Joseph “Joe” Carney. They married at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on June 21, 1952. The couple later welcomed eight children, first four boys, then four girls. After Joe’s death, Betty moved to Sun City AZ. Shortly thereafter, wooed by fresh cut home grown roses, she married the late Charles “Chuck” Budler on June 13, 1987, adding three more children to the blended family. They enjoyed going to mass every morning followed by breakfast at Coco's . 

Betty loved Arizona and the sunshine. She loved the song, "You are My Sunshine". Betty returned to her beloved Sun City, AZ home last year after spending 2019 - 2023 living in Lodi, CA at the home of her daughter Patricia "Patty". At the time of her passing, Betty resided in Sun City, AZ with her youngest daughter Kelly as her caretaker, and her third son Matthew “Matt” close by. 

Betty was preceded in death by her first husband Joe Carney in 1984; second husband Chuck Budler in 2009; fourth son James “Jim” (Sandi) Carney in 2001; son Michael “Mike” (Jacque) Budler in 2008; daughter Barbara “Barb” (Ken) Budler Hummel in 2011; and grandson Bradley “Brad” Valdez in 2008. She was also preceded in death by her brothers and their spouses Leo (Wilma) Finn; John (Marge) Finn; Richard (Edna) Finn, Matthew “Gene” Finn, Dean Finn; and sister Ellen (Robert) Lantaff.

Betty is survived by her sons Daniel “Dan” (Donna) Carney, Aurora, CO, Thomas “Tom” Carney, Darien, WI, Matt Carney, Sun City, AZ, Louis “Lou” (Peg) Budler, Villa Hills, KY; and her daughters: Kathleen Carney (Eddie Fleer), Nixa, MO, Patty Carney (Cheryl Kerlin), Lodi, CA, Candace “Candy” (Craig) Unger, Oakland, MD, and Kelly Carney, Sun City, AZ. 

Betty is also survived by her grandchildren: Joseph “Joey” Carney, Omaha, NE, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Carney, St Louis, MO, Patrick Carney, Darien, WI, Cassanda “Cassie” Carney, Fort Collins, CO, Shannon Carney (Tyler) Roehr, Cincinnati, OH, Carney Wilmes, Ozark, MO, Camille Wilmes, Springfield, MO, Tobias “Ty” Unger, Knoxville, MD, Charlize “Charlie” Carney, Aurora, CO, Jazmyne Carney, Aurora, CO, Jeremy McClurg, Aurora, CO, Hilary Vincent (Eva) Payne II, Phoenix, AZ, Joshua “Josh” Valdez, Scottsdale, AZ, Nancy Budler (Mark Woodhead), Leeds, England, Cathy Budler, Villa Hills KY, Heather Hummel, Plainfield, IL, Johanna Budler, Steamboat Springs, CO, Jessilyn “Jessie” Budler, Centennial,  CO, Eli (Carine) Kerlin, San Francisco, CA, Annalee (Brandon Jew), Kentfield, CA, Bonnie (Sam DuBour) Kerlin, Orlando, FL, and Alisha Fleer, Lincoln, NE.

In addition, Betty is survived by great grandchildren Elijah “Eli” McClurg, Aurora, CO, Adia Hunt, Aurora, CO, Liam, Isobel, Lydia and Charlie Budler, Leeds, England, Jordan Valdez, New Haven, CT, Hilary “Ari” Payne IV, Phoenix AZ, Bo Sun Jew-Lee, Kentfield, CA, and Baby Roehr due in September.

Finally, Betty is survived by her brother-in-law Gene “Tex” (Joy) Carney, Norfolk; sister-in-law Donna Finn, Peoria, AZ; sons-in-law: Kenneth “Ken” Hummel, Plainfield, IL, Laverne Wilmes, Nixa, MO; daughters-in-law: Sandra “Sandi” Smith, Omaha, NE, Vicki Carney (Jim Bunegar), Naples, FL, Margaret Carney, St Louis, MO, and Jacque Budler, Centennial, CO.

Numerous nephews, nieces and their families all had a special place in Aunt Betty’s home and heart.

After Betty graduated from Norfolk Catholic High School (1947); she attended Norfolk Jr. College, and resumed her education, earning an AA degree in 1984 from Northeast Technical Community College (Norfolk, NE).

Her first job was working for Arthur Herbst, DDS (Norfolk, NE); and then his brother who owned the State Game Lodge (Black Hills, SD). When she returned home, she worked for Gerald Sobotka, Sr, CPA, and Mary Johnson, CPA (Norfolk, NE) who remained a long-time friend. After youngest daughter Kelly went to kindergarten, she obtained her real estate license, and went to work for Century 21/Fisher Realty (Norfolk, NE), and later Ken Meade Realty (Sun City, AZ), where she worked for Priscilla Ritchie (another long-time friend). Betty was a realtor for over 40 years, and a Real Estate Broker. Her favorite clients were young couples buying their first home, back when purchase contracts were only one-page, front and back.

As a devoted mother, Betty poured her heart and soul into raising her children, imparting wisdom, and instilling values that will endure for generations to come. When her children were young, she taught “Mom and Me” Swim Lessons at the Norfolk YMCA; was a Cub Scout Mom; and often a Field Trip Volunteer. Along with her husband Joe, they coordinated the “Ready Area” for many Aquajets Swim Team meets. Her unconditional love knew no bounds, and her selflessness knew no limits. She was not only a mother but also a confidante, a mentor, and a guiding force in our lives.

Beyond her role as a mother, Betty was a pillar of quiet strength within her community. She served as the President of the Norfolk Board of Realtors (Norfolk, NE) and the President of the St Elizabeth Seton Society (Sun City, AZ). Her generosity knew no bounds, as she dedicated her time and energy to helping those in need. Whether lending a listening ear, offering a helping hand, or spreading joy with her inclusiveness, she touched the lives of many and made the world a brighter place. 

Betty lived a life filled with purpose and devotion; always viewing the world and people with her rose colored glasses. She was a beacon of light to all who knew her, embodying grace, compassion, and unwavering resilience. Her nurturing spirit touched the lives of countless individuals, leaving an indelible mark on each soul she encountered. Betty and her Sun City, AZ friends sewed dresses throughout the years and presented them every December to the school children in Surprise, AZ. Karma was good to Betty, as one of those students who received a hand sewn dress reentered her life as her favorite Hospice Nurse, Norma. 

A Memorial Mass will be held on Wednesday, June 26th at 10am at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, 9728 W Palmeras Dr, Sun City. Per her wish, Betty’s body was donated for tissue harvesting; hopefully, the research will help burn victims and others in the future. 

A Celebration of Life Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, October 4th at 10:30am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 200 S 5th St, Norfolk, NE. Visitation will be Thursday, October 3rd from 5-7pm with a 7pm Rosary at Home for Funerals, 708 Georgia Avenue, Norfolk, NE. Her ashes will be buried, next to her first husband, Joe. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her honor to Wayne State College Foundation, 1111 Main St, Wayne, NE 68787 (or do a kind deed for someone, as we know that will make her happy).

May Betty's soul rest in eternal peace, knowing that she was deeply loved and will be forever cherished in our hearts. Though she may no longer be with us in body, her spirit will continue to guide and inspire us every day. Recently, when asked what to tell people when they inquired about how she was doing, her reply was to tell them she was “hitting it out of the ballpark!” She will be dearly missed by all who knew her, but we will take solace in the cherished memories. 

In honoring Betty's memory, we will strive to emulate the virtues she embodied: kindness, compassion, and unwavering love. Though we mourn her loss, we find comfort in knowing that she has found eternal peace in the embrace of our God, and Savior.

The Carney Budler Family