Arpin Native Laid to Rest After Procession in Horse-Drawn Hearse

horse drawn funeral hearse
Betty Strobel Funeral Hearse / Submitted Photo

Family Celebrates Life of Betty Strobel with Unique Funeral Procession

When Arpin native Betty Strobel passed away earlier this month, her family wanted to make her final ride memorable. When her children met at the funeral home, they suggested having a horse-drawn hearse to escort Betty to the cemetery.

Cunningham Hearse
Cunningham style Hearse / Submitted Photo

“Betty would never pass up a buggy or sleigh ride with my dad,” said granddaughter Kishon Hoffmann. “So having him do this for her was a very personal ride for them both.”

Betty’s son-in-law, Dennis, and his brothers Randy and Allen Raab had built the hearse themselves, finding inspiration from the historic 1920’s Cunningham Hearse.

“Dad makes sure everything is perfect – from the right harness to the feather plume, to him and the two other escorts wearing black suits and top hats,” said Hoffmann. “He is great at making sure every ‘t’ is crossed and ‘i’ is dotted.”

On Wednesday, May 19, Dennis navigated the hearse from First Presbyterian Church in Arpin and down the town’s main street to Betty’s final resting place at Arpin Cemetery. Mary, an 8 year-old 1/2 Friesian 1/2 Percheron was selected from Dennis’ horses to be the trusted steed to deliver Betty safely.

“We are very lucky to have amazing friends that helped get Mary and the hearse ready Wednesday for grandma,” said Hoffmann. “Grandma Betty was a very special lady to everyone she met and she deserved to have a special ride to her final resting place and a special funeral that celebrated her.”

“Grandma had the biggest, most kindest heart of anyone I ever knew,” she added. “If you

cunningham hearse
 Submitted photo

didn’t have a place to go for the holidays, you had a spot at her table. If you didn’t have a place to go for Christmas, you had a spot with us and a gift under the tree.”

“My cousin Fallon Weiler had this on Facebook: Queen – a woman or thing personified as a woman considered to be the best or most important of her kind…Grandma took her final ride like the queen she was and laid to rest by her king.”

Betty Strobel Obituary

Betty Strobel / Submitted Photo

Arpin – Betty Jean (Nelson) Strobel, age 86 of Arpin, passed away late Tuesday night, May 11, 2021 at Advent Health in Sebring, FL while on vacation with her daughters. A Funeral Service will be held 11:00 am Wednesday, May 19th, 2021 at Hansen-Schilling Funeral Home 1010 E. Veterans Pkwy in Marshfield. Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Tuesday, May 18th and again one hour prior to service on Wednesday. Betty will be escorted to Arpin Cemetery by her son-in-law Dennis Raab’s horse drawn hearse to be laid to rest with her beloved husband Milton.

Betty was born April 25,1935, the daughter of Carl and Irene (Robinson) Nelson in Arpin. She graduated from Marshfield High School in 1953. On February 19th, 1955 Betty was united in marriage to the love of her life Milton Jerome Strobel at First Presbyterian Church in Arpin. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2005. In 1955 Betty also graduated from College with a teaching degree. She wore many hats in her 86 years of life; a teacher, which she loved to tell stories about and working on the family farm with her husband, children, and grandchildren. Betty was an active member at First Presbyterian Church in Arpin. One of her favorite jobs was working at Slim’s Steakhouse as a waitress and getting to know so many great people that came in, but the one that took the cake was raising Chester White Pigs. Her love for pigs grew from the real ones in the barn to the clay, glass, porcelain, wood, metal, and flying pigs that decorated her house inside and out! We could never pass up a new collector pig for her.

In Betty’s spare time she enjoyed many things but being with her family, baking/crafting, and reading were at the top. She especially enjoyed going to Fifield to their cabin and sharing those moments with many family and friends. Those that knew Betty best will miss her huge heart and cooking, along with her love for life.

Betty is lovingly survived by 5; children: Susan (Dennis) Raab of Arpin, Scott of Arpin, Steve (JoAnn) of Hewitt, Sally (Gary) Grassman of Pittsville, Sammy (Michelle) of Arpin, along with 18 grandchildren; Josh (Sally) Raab of Arpin, Aaron (Vicky) Raab of Arpin, Kishon (Adam) Hoffmann of Wisconsin Rapids, Santana (Cesar) Lopez of Hallsville, Missouri, Jamie (Dustin) Kauffman, of Auburndale, Jeanine Strobel and fur babies Tena and Brutus of Auburndale, Adam (Nicole) Strobel of Marshfield, Kyler (Kelsey) of Baldwin, Fallon Weiler of Auburndale with fur babies Sully and Scout, Preston (Travis) Weiler-Christie of Arpin, Tyson (Kaeli) Weiler of Auburndale, Dillon (Heidi) Weiler of Marshfield, Canyon (Hannah) Weiler of Vesper, Kyle, Evan, Ryan Grassman of Pittsville, Tanner (Kaycee) and Cole Strobel of Arpin, and 20 Great Grandchildren; Mackenzie, Fletcher, and Blake Raab, Morgan, Alayna, and Dawson Raab, Gracie, Emma, Alexis, and Harlan Hoffmann, Aubriella and Corbin Lopez, Pierce and Karter Kauffmann, Kennedy Strobel, Tristan and Kaiden Weiler, Allis and Ellie Weiler, and Maverick Weiler , siblings: Doris (Melvin) Ott of Marshfield, Brother-in-law Howard Greeneway, Jean Sparks of Marshfield, Sister-in-law Micki Nelson of Pocatello, ID, Dennis (Penny) Nelson of Arpin, and Karen (Brian “Tex”) Barclay of Vesper. She is further survived by many Nieces, Nephews, and friends. She will truly be missed.

Betty is preceded in death by her parents: Carl and Irene Nelson, Husband Milton Strobel, In-laws Jerry and Idella Strobel, as well as siblings: Dwain and Shirley Nelson, Mary Greeneway, Marlene and Larry Baumbach, Jerry Sparks, Joyce and Ed Snyder, Larry Nelson and two nephews Jamey Nelson and Jerry Lee Sparks, two nieces Sandra Knutson and Renee Sparks, along with many close friends.

The family would like to thank everyone who has reached out to send their condolences and prayers and to Hansen-Schilling Funeral Home for helping Betty get back home and assisting the family with the arrangements.

We were truly blessed to have such a great woman be a part of our lives by being a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, sister-in-law, aunt and friend. She will forever be in our thoughts, prayers, and hearts. We are at peace knowing she is reunited with Grandpa.

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Breanna Butler
Author: Breanna Butler

Breanna Butler is an award-winning multimedia producer born and raised in Central Wisconsin. She enjoys exploring and writing about the community. She lives in Marshfield with her husband and furry family.