Elizabeth A. “Betty Lee” (Plants) (Reed) Mueller gravestone
(Photo by Vernon B. Paddock)

B. January 27, 1925 in Wheeling, Ohio County, WV
D. July 21, 1996 in Kenosha, Kenosha County, WI
Find A Grave memorial (click here)

  • Father: Clarence Huston Plants born April 2, 1903 in West Virginia; married Elizabeth Jessie Blankensop on January 10, 1925 in Wellsburg, Brooke County, WV; Clarence died March 1964
  • Mother: Elizabeth Jessie “Betty” (Blankensop) Plants born March 2, 1907 in Wheeling, Ohio County, WV, daughter of Henry G. Blankensop and Laura (Reid) Blankensop; Elizabeth died October 4, 2000
  • Husband 1: Carl Joseph Reed; married Betty Lee Plant on January 27, 1943 in Cook County, IL
  • Husband 2: Howard P. Mueller; married Elizabeth (Plants) Reed in January 1953 in Indiana
  • Children of Carl J. Reed and Elizabeth A. (Plants) Reed:
    1. Joanne (Reed) Schwerdtfeger born about 1944 in Illinois; married Virgil Schwerdtfer (of Beach Park IL)
    2. Allan Reed Busses born about 1946 in Illinois; married Shirley (of Woodstock IL)
    3. Donna (Reed) Burr born about 1947 in Illinois (of California)
    4. Alberta Reed born about 1949 in Illinois (of Chicago IL)
  • Children of Elizabeth A. (Plants):
    1. Howard D. Mueller; married Caroline (of Twin Lakes WI)
    2. John Gordon (of Chicago IL)
    3. Patricia Provenzano (NOTE: Patricia is listed as sibling in David’s obituary but not in Elizabeth’s obituary)
    4. David A. Mueller born November 24, 1948; David died February 27, 1983 (See section pertaining to David A. Mueller buried in the Fort Hill Cemetery)
  • Siblings:
    • Robert Ellsworth Plants born February 7, 1927 in Wheeling, Ohio County, WV; Robert died October 22, 2012 (of Kentucky)
    • Jean Evelyn (Plants) (Thompson) Makowski born December 25, 1928 in Wheeling, Ohio County, WV; Jean died October 4, 2007; last residence in Bardstown, Nelson County, KY
    • Dale Plants born December 23, 1931 in Cook County, IL (of Mundelein IL)
    • Phyllis Marlene (Plants) Awker born January 28, 1935 in Wheeling, Ohio County, WV; married Philip Merle “Bud” Awker, Sr. (1928-2001) October 1, 1973 in Hennepin County, MN, son of Merl Washburn Awker (1897-1955) and Ida M. (Pfiefer) Awker (193-1965); Phyllis died March 21, 2014 in West Saint Paul, Dakota County, MN; Phyllis and Philip are buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, MN

According to the Chicago Tribune (Chicago IL) Thursday, September 26, 2013, page 1-3:

“Chicago native returns for her bucket list trip

   After surgery to remove her left lung in February, Phyllis Awker hoped she would be cancer-free.  Instead her doctors told her the cancer had spread and this holiday season would likely be her last.
   So Awker, 78, of West St. Paul, Minn., decided it was time to think about her bucket list.  When her daughter Cindy Clow suggested a family trip, Awker knew exactly where she wanted to go.
   “Chicago’s where I grew up and where my kids grew up.  I wanted to see the places I remembered one more time,” Awker said.
   Three of Awker’s eight children, Phil, Bill and Cindy, came to Chicago with her this week.  They said they wanted to make sure their mom got her dream vacation after their father died of a stroke in 2001, in the middle of the Winnebago road trip he had always wanted to take.
   “He was always encouraging us to make sure we had no regrets, but he never had a chance to finish his bucket list trip,” Phil Awker said.  “There was no way we were going to let that happen to Mom.  We wanted her to be able to go out with a bang, not a whimper.”
   They drove out Monday, stopping at, Awker’s sister’s house in Wisconsin for dinner and a chance to reminisce over old photos.  On Tuesday, their first full day in Chicago, they toured the sites Awker remembered.
   They went to the house she grew up in, at 1923 N. Leamington Ave., across the street from the railroad tracks where she remembered waving to servicemen riding by.  Her brothers would pour water down the hill in the winter, and they would sled down the ice in cardboard boxes.
   The tracks and the hill were still there, but not much else was.  Taft High School, too, was hardly recognizable as the school she attended, Awker said.  And the Forum Cafeteria, where her husband fell in love with her as she served him a slice of pie, was gone.
   “Nothing looks the same,” said Awker, who has been back to the city twice since she and her husband moved away in the 1970s.  “You don’t realize how fast time goes until you stop to look around.”
   If Tuesday was about reminiscing, Wednesday brought a first: a ballgame at Wrigley Field.  She said she had always been a Cubs fan but was too busy with eight kids to make it to a game.
   Decked out in Cubs gear from head to toe, she watched from the second row as the Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in the last home game of the season.  At the end of the game, she ventured onto the field for a photo.
   Awker said there was just one thing left on her list: a trip to Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.  Her family didn’t have much when her kids were growing up, she said, so their summertime outing was a trip to splash in the water and enjoy an ice cream cone by the fountain.  Their room at the Congress Plaza Hotel overlooked the fountain, Clow said, but they were saving the visit for last.
   All the traveling was tiring, Awker said, but worth it.
   “I wanted to get the most out of it,” she said.  “I’ve got a great family, and it’s been a wonderful week.”

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press (St. Paul MN) March 23, 2014, page B8:

“AWKER Phyllis M. “On Eagles Wings” – Age 79 of St. Paul Passed away peacefully March 21, 2014.  Phyllis Marlene (Plants) Awker was born in Wheeling, West Virginia on January 28, 1935, immigrated with her parents to Chicago and then settled in St. Paul (most recently West St. Paul).  She was a beautiful soul who loved God, her family and serving others.  She loved music and dancing, The Price is Right, Wheel of Fortune and pretty much the whole line up on CBS.  In her early days, she spent most of her time selflessly taking care of her family, her home and any other person or critter who needed her whether they realized it or not.  More recently, she allowed herself to experience adventure, travel and finally, flight.  All who knew her were touched by her.  She was the strongest person we knew and fought a tough fight.  She is now at peace in Heaven with Dad and all of our other loved ones who have passed.  She is preceded in death by parents Clarence and Elizabeth Plants (Blankensop) her loving husband of 50 years Philip “Bud” Awker Sr., sisters Betty Mueller and Jean Makowski, and brother Bob Plants.  Phyllis survived by sons Phil (Pat) Awker, Jr., David Awker, Stephan (Marya) Awker, Charles (Christine) Awker and Bill (Susie) Awker along with daughters Cynthia (Reggie) Clow, Lisa (Scott) Reynolds and Tina (Robb) Westawker, sisters Patricia Busch and Loretta Charlton, brothers Dale Plants, Eddie Plants and Ronnie Plants.  She is blessed with 20 grand-children, 17 great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, extended families and numerous friends which include her church family.  A memorial service will be held at her church, Randolph Heights Presbyterian Church, 435 S. Hamline Ave., St. Paul, MN (651-698-3889).  Visitation at church from 10-11 AM and service at 11 AM with luncheon to follow.  Floral arrangements or memorials in the form of donations may be sent directly to the church.  She will be cremated and her remains will be united with her husband Philip, at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in a private family service.   Willwerscheid Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 1167 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN (651-228-1006).”

    • Bessie Patricia “Pat” (Plants) (Bittenbender) Busch born 1937 in Marshal County, WV; married (1) Kenneth E. Bittenbender on September 21, 1957 in Cook County, IL (of Hartford WI); married (2) unknown Busch
    • Edwin “Eddie” Plants born about 1939 in Illinois (of Aurora IL)
    • Ronald “Ronnie” Plants (of Trevor WI)
    • Dennis Plants (of Chicago IL)
    • Loretta “Lottie” (Plants) (Stanley) Charlton (of Antioch IL)

Additional Information:

According to the U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007:

“Name: Elizabeth Lee Plants (Elizabeth Reed) (Betty Jordan) (Betty Cocherell) (Elizabeth Mueller) (Betty Mueller); Birth Date: 27 Jan 1925; Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois (Wheeling, West Virginia); Death Date: 21 Jul 1996; Father Clarnce Plants; Mother: Betty A. Blankenship;
June 1942: Name listed as ELIZABETH LEE PLANTS;
Oct 1943: Name listed as ELIZABETH REED;
Jan 1952: Name listed as BETTY LEE JORDAN;
Oct 1955: Name listed as BETTY LEE COCHERELL;
31 Jul 1984: Name listed as ELIZABETH ANN MUELLER;: Name listed as BETTY LEE MUELLER.”

According to the 1930 U.S. Census for Chicago City, Cook County, IL living at 1806 Monticello Ave., the household members were:

“Clarence Plints (sic) head, age 27, married at age 22, born in West Virginia, parents born in West Virginia, occupation: laborer – mill; Eliz Plints (sic) wife, age 23, married at age 17, born in West Virginia, parents born n West Virginia; Betty Plints (sic) daughter, age 5, single, born in West Virginia; Robert Plints (sic) son, age 3 1/12, single, born in West Virginia; Evelyn Plints (sic), daughter, age 1 2/12, single, born in West Virginia”

According to the 1940 U.S. Census for Chicago, Cook County, IL living at 1923 Leamington, the household members were:

“Clarence Plants, age 37, married, highest grade completed: 7, born in West Virginia, lived in same place in 1935, occupation: laborer – WPA reforestation; Elizabeth Plants, wife, age 33, married, highest grade compleded: 1H, born in West Virginia, lived in same place in 1935; Betty Lee, daughter, age 15, single, highest grade completed: 4, born in West Virginia, lived in same place in 1935; Robert Plants, son, age 13, single, highest grade completed: 5, born in West Virginia, lived in same place in 1935; Jean Plants, daughter, age 11, single, highest grade completed: 4, born in West Virginia, lived in same place in 1935; Dale Plants, son, age 9, single, highest grade completed: 2, born in Illinois, lived in same place in 1935; Phyllis Plants, daughter, age 5, single, born in Illinois, lived in same place in 1935; Bessie Plants, daughter, age 3, single, born in West Virginia; Edwin Plants, son, age 8/12, single, born in Illinois”

According to the 1950 U.S. Census for Chicago, Cook County, IL living at 7506 Argyle, the household members were:

“Carl J. Reed, head, age 26, married, born in Illinois, Occupation: Extraction operation – Ray Bean Processing; Betty Reed, wife, age 25, married, born in West Virginia, Was he living in this same house a year ago?: Yes, What country were his father and mother born in?: U.S., What is the highest grade of school that he has attended?: S7, Did he finish this grade?: No; Jo-Anne Reed, daughter, age 6, never married, born in Illinois; Allan Reed, son, age 4, never married, born in Illinois; Donna Reed, daughter, age 3, never married, born in Illinois; Alberta Reed, daughter, born in August, never married, born in Illinois”

According to the Lake Geneva Regional News (Lake Geneva WI) Thursday, July 25, 1996, page 3:

Mueller Funeral Service Here July 24

    Elizabeth A. Mueller, 71, 450 Lincoln Drive, Twin Lakes, formerly of Round Lake, IL died Sunday, July 21, at the Kenosha Medical Center, Kenosha following a long illness.
   The former Elizabeth Plants was born Jan. 27, 1925 in Wheeling, WV the daughter of Clarence and Elizabeth Blinkensof Plants.  She married Carl Reed, who preceded her in death.  She then married Howard P. Mueller in January of 1953 in Indiana.  He also preceded her in death.
   She worked as a private duty nurse for many years and then was a licenses child care provider.  She has been a resident of Twin Lakes for the past 12 years moving there from Round Lake.  She was a member of Messiah Lutheran Church, Twin Lakes, and a former member of the Calvary Presbyterian Church, Round Lake.  She was involved with the Senior Center in Bristol.
   She is survived by her mother, Elizabeth Plants, Hartford; three daughters, Joanne Schwerdtfeger, Beach Park, IL, Donna Burr of California, and Alberta of Chicago, IL; three sons, Howard Mueller, Twin Lakes, John Gordon, Chicago, and Allan Busses, Woodstock, IL; 11 grandchildren;  four sisters, Jean Mikowski, Chicago, Pat Busch, Hartford, Phyllis Awker, St. Paul, MN, and Lottie Stanley, Antioch, IL; and five brothers, Robert Plants of Kentucky, Dale Plants, Mundelein, IL, Edward Plants, Aurora, IL, Ronald Plants, Trevor and Dennis Plants, Chicago.  She was preceded in death by one son, David Mueller, in 1984.
   Funeral services were held at 7 PM Wednesday, July 24, at the Haase-Derrick-Lockwood Funeral Home, Twin Lakes.  Following cremation, interment was in Fort Hill Cemetery, Round Lake.  The family received friends from 4 PM Wednesday until the time of services at 7 PM.”