Elizabeth “Bessie” Gale Stalbaum Wilson, age 78, passed away peacefully at her home in Michigan City on Sunday, November 20, 2022, surrounded by her adoring family. Her gentle, selfless spirit, generosity, quick wit and sense of humor will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know her.
She was born on September 30, 1944 in Valparaiso, IN, to Kenneth Dale and Helen Vivian Parker Stalbaum, who preceded her in death, as did brothers Kenny Stalbaum and John Stalbaum, and sister Vivian Suffern, along with two sons-in-law, Terry Topping and Michael Perrino, and daughter-in-law Tammy Mowbray. She is survived by sister Nancy White and Stephen (Orchid) Stalbaum, both of Valparaiso.
On July 14, 1973, she married the love of her life, Wayne Wilson, who survives. In addition to her loving husband, she also leaves behind five children and two step-children: Nancy Mowbray Topping of Elkhart, IN; George C. Mowbray III (Rita Bernstein) of Valparaiso; David (Jenefer) Mowbray of Stevensville, MI; Holly Wilson (Jonathan) Kilkenny of Peoria, IL; and Kristy Wilson (Joe) Kauffman of Elkhart, IN; Tami L. Wilson (Clifford Tartaglia) of West Chicago; Tracy W. (Tamara) Wilson of Lafayette, IN. Sixteen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren were blessed to call her Grammy.
Elizabeth devoted her life to her family, also enjoyed creative hobbies such as sewing, baking and decorating cakes, crocheting, and cross-stitching. She made many friendships at the Eagles Lodge in Valparaiso, where she was on a bowling team and also worked at their Friday night Fish Fry and event catering for many years. Her family will miss her vegetable soup and meatloaf, and Christmas will never again be the same without her famous fudge. She was also an avid card player and Elvis fan.
A visitation will be held at Moeller Funeral Home in Valparaiso on Tuesday, November 22nd from 3-7 pm. Funeral services will be on Wednesday, November 23rd at 10:30 am. Burial will be at Graceland Cemetery in Valparaiso.
The family would like to thank the nurses at Franciscan Hospital in Michigan City and Dr. Minesh Patel and NP Tracy Novak, as well as the nurses of Providence Hospice, for their exceptional care and compassion. The companionship and assistance of dear friends Marsha Montgomery and Dennis and Diane Kilkenny is also tremendously appreciated.
My childhood memories would be incomplete without Aunt Bessie, my mother’s little sister. She will be missed. God bless you all -Rhonda Bailey
I’m going to miss you aunt Liz. I’m going to miss you. Say hi to grandma for me (jerry). I know you guys are spending time up there catching up. I know your family is going to miss and specially uncle Wayne but I know you are no longer in pain. Fly high and watch over your family from up there. Rest in heavenly peace. -Melody Tucker-smith
Even though "Bessie" was going through a lot...she never complained. She always focused on others. She touched so many hearts and will always be remembered. May good memories help the family through the days ahead. We miss you Bessie, but are glad you are now pain free and home in heaven. -Steve and Orchid Stalbaum
I am so heartbroken to hear about Liz passing. She was such a wonderful wife, mother, friend and person. My heart goes out to the entire family. I will pray for Wayne to find comfort. There's no doubt how many people loved her. My condolences and Love Always. -Kinsey Zakutansky
You will be greatly missed, Aunt Bessie! Some of my fondest memories growing up had you in them. I think of you every time I eat one of those strawberry candies or a butterscotch. You had such a great sense of humor and a heart of gold. We love you. -Erin Heimbuch Frederich
I have a hard time finding the words describing the loss of my beloved step mother. She was a wonderful mom, wife, grandmother and person. She brought joy to my family and I. She was a selfless and wonderful person. I love her, will miss her and will always cherish my memories of her. Liz, thank you for being a wonderful step mother and for bringing so much joy to Daddy’s life - you will always be in my thoughts. I pray that you may rest in peace. Love always, -Tami Wilson
Where do I begin to describe how lucky I feel to have known her and care for her over the past years. It’s been a privilege to be part of her life and her family. I hope that she knows that I will continue to take care of Wayne, and make sure I answer all of his Google questions. Her spirit will live on in my office for sure, because there are many a stories to tell of her dedication to her family and how she prioritized others over herself. I will never forget her smile and how, regardless of how she was feeling, she always made sure Wayne was cared for. She was funny and kind and I will miss her so. -Tracy Novak