Elizabeth “Betty” Wise, 91 of Dunkirk, New York, passed away Saturday evening May 6, 2023.
Betty was born in Dunkirk on November 9, 1931, to the late John and Emily C. (Roman, Kopec) Wisniewski.
Betty was an athlete in her younger years and was a member of the Koch’s Annies women’s softball team. She attended college briefly at Fredonia Teachers College but chose to pursue other endeavors instead of teaching.
Through her years in the workforce, she was employed at Eastman Kodak in Rochester and Howard Hughes Industries in California. She began her horse racing career with the purchase of her first racehorse in 1955 which led to a lengthy career in the Harness Horse Racing Industry. At one point in time, she had a barn of 8 to 10 horses to train. Her nickname at the track was “Busy”. She could take a lame horse and make it sound (healthy) and it would become a money-winner. She was named “Top Trainer of the Year” in the Illinois Harness Racing Circuit. She often had many horses finish in the money while racing in Kentucky, Illinois, and New York just to name a few. Her favorite horse was “Frisco Jane”.
All who knew her at the track would say “Here comes Frisco Jane and Betty Jane”.
She eventually retired from Harness Horse Racing and returned home to Dunkirk to be with her aging mother and enjoy her sister and family. She took a job with Chautauqua Opportunities as a home healthcare aid until her final retirement.
Betty was active with the Dunkirk Senior Center enjoying many bus trips and being involved in a painting class there. She was an excellent artist with many of her paintings winning ribbons at the local fair. She was a Past Grand Matron with the Order of the Eastern Star. She had a love for animals, especially her cats. Even a passing raccoon would take advantage of her kindness. If anyone was down on their luck she would very rarely say no to help. She had many friends in the harness horse racing world, in the psychic healing circle, and here in Dunkirk with the senior center and at St. Columbans.
She resided the last nine months of her life at St. Columban’s on the Lake Retirement Home. There she learned from the staff and other residents about the loving-kindness and mercy of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and God the Father. She had a dry witty sense of humor and she will be sadly missed by all who knew her.
Besides her parents she was preceded in death by her sister and brother-in-law Irene and Al Tarnowski, her aunt and uncle Anna and Edward Whatley, and her uncle and aunt Leo and Dorothy Roman. She is survived by nieces, nephews, and cousins.
There will be no calling hours. A private funeral service will be held at the convenience of the family. If you would like to do a memorial, donations may be made to St. Columban’s on the Lake Retirement Home, East Town of Dunkirk Fire Dept. Ladies Auxiliary, or Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care. Arrangements are by the McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home