Bette Jane Christian

SAGOLA – Bette Jane Christian, 74, of Sagola, passed away surrounded by her loving family on Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, at Dickinson County Memorial Hospital in Iron Mountain.

She was born May 7, 1940, in Iron Mountain, daughter of the late Michael and Lorraine (Bouchard) Sparapani. Bette graduated from Holy Name High School in Escanaba in 1958. She married Clarence “Chris” Christian on Aug. 8, 1980, in Escanaba. Bette was the director and head cook at the Sagola Township Senior Citizens Center for almost 30 years. She was a member of St. Rose Catholic Church in Channing. Bette enjoyed baking and was well known for her delicious rye bread. She also enjoyed reading, gardening, sewing, cross stitch and spending time with family and friends.

She is survived by five children, Thomas (Toni) Christian of Sagola, Michael (Julie) Samuelson of Escanaba, Clarence Jr. (Tina) Christian of Norway, Michael (Anna) Christian of Felch, and Matthew (Susan) Samuelson of Burnsville, Minn.; a sister, Diane (Larry) Rank of Phoenix, Ariz.; 15 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and her special cat, Polly.

Bette was preceded in death by a son, Mark Samuelson; a brother, Michael Sparapani; and two sisters, Delores “Sis” Annear and Arlene Savard.

Visitation will be on Thursday from noon until 2 p.m. CST at the Erickson-Rochon and Nash Funeral Home in Iron Mountain and from 3 until 4 p.m. CST at St. Rose Catholic Church in Channing. The funeral service will follow at 4 p.m. CST on Thursday at the church. Fr. Dan Malone will offer the Mass of Christian Burial.

Bette’s grandsons will serve as pallbearers.

Condolences may be expressed to the family of Bette J. Christian online at

The family has entrusted the Erickson-Rochon & Nash Funeral Home of Iron Mountain with the arrangements.