Betty Louise Markert McDonald

Last Updated on February 17, 2016 by cassnetwork

mcdonaldMatriarch of a Cass County pioneer family, Betty Louise Markert McDonald of Logansport passed away February 15th at Logansport Memorial Hospital surrounded by her family.

Born December 29, 1920, in Logansport she was the only child of George and Frieda Zech Markert. On September 5, 1943, she was married to Lt. Richard L. McDonald at St. James Lutheran Church—the family’s church where her ancestors were baptized, confirmed, married and buried. A Life Member of St. James, she was a member of the Mary Martha Guild and the Church’s Property Board. She was also a Member of the President’s Advisory Council of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne.

Betty graduated from Logansport High School in 1939, and received her B.S. degree from Indiana University, School of Business, in 1942. She was a member of the Chi Omega Sorority.

Throughout her life, she remained active in the Chi Omega Alumnae group and the I.U. Alumni Association attending reunions with her husband.

After college, she went to work for Sears, Roebuck (Indianapolis) in personnel and then transferred to Sears in San Antonio, TX, after she was married. For many years, she was manager of Markert’s Green House on Pleasant Hill which had been in the family for three generations and was renowned for its geraniums and bedding plants in the Spring. Most recently, she managed her family properties.

In Logansport, Betty was an active member of Rotary Anns, Cass County Historical Society, Logansport Arts Council, and Cass County Art Association. She was on the Founding Committee of Mary Dykeman Memorial Hospital Guild and a past member of Psi Iota Psi Sorority and the First Mother’s Study Club. Throughout her life she helped plan Logansport High School reunions and remained close with her high school friends who got together frequently.

Betty was an adventurer and loved to travel and experience new places. She and Dick enjoyed unstructured and unscheduled traveling. Favorite destinations were Hawaii and Hannover, Germany, where she had relatives. They joined the I.U. Alumni group tours and visited locales where language would present a problem. At age 75, she was found parasailing in Islamorada, FL. She also took flying lessons at Grissom with her son Jim and loved to fly.

Survivors include her daughter Janet McDonald Smiljanic and her husband John of Fredericksburg, TX; her son Jim and his wife Janie of Logansport. Grandchildren include John Smiljanic and his wife Rebecca of Austin, TX; Mark Smiljanic and his wife Melinda of Houston, TX; Johanna Smiljanic, of Austin , TX; Larry Aagesen, his wife Melissa, and great grandson Nicholas, of Idaho Falls, ID; and Dr. Matthew Aagesen, his wife Dr. Andrea, and great granddaughters Payton, Ellla, and Charlotte, of Ann Arbor, MI.

Pastor KC Dehning will officiate the service with Pastor Marvin Hinkle assisting, to be held February 19th, 11:00 a.m. at St. James Lutheran Church, Logansport, IN. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to St. James Lutheran Church, 430 Ninth Street, Logansport 46947. Envelopes will be available at the church.

Family and friends may leave a memory or message of condolence by visiting the online obituary at

Cass County Online