Elizabeth J. "Betty" Gerstenschlager

April 1, 1934 ~ December 17, 2022 (age 88) 88 Years Old


Elizabeth “Betty” J. Gerstenschlager, 88, of Watertown, NY, passed away peacefully on December 17, 2022 at her home under the care of her loving family and with the
assistance of Hospice of Jefferson County.

She was born on April 1, 1934, daughter of Raymond and Genevieve (Beahan) Altmire at Mercy Hospital in Watertown, NY. She graduated from Watertown High School. She was always so proud of the fact that she graduated a year early at the age of 17. After completion of high school, she was employed by several businesses in both Watertown and Syracuse including a local surgeon’s office and the House of the Good Samaritan Hospital. Her true passion and calling was caring for her family and she spent her entire life doing just that. She instilled many great values in the lives of all of those who knew her. She always had an open door, a listening ear, kind heart, and gave the best advice.  Her world revolved around her many loved ones, near and far, as well as her close friends. She gave all she had in the most selfless way, never wanting anything in return. We will forever be grateful to have had the time that we have had with the most amazing soul we have ever known.
She married Harry W. Gerstenschlager of Watertown in 1960. The couple resided
in Watertown where she was a homemaker as well as co-owner of the family
business. Harry was a self-employed contractor for several years. He passed on July 14, 2009. Over the years, their many employees were blessed by her loving soul as she was often cooking meals and offering up a room in their home.

Elizabeth was a communicant of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church. She loved her family and her home. She enjoyed cooking, painting, and collecting coins. In her younger years, she enjoyed crafting alongside her best friend and daughter-in-law, Sherry Gracey, and selling their creations at the local farmer’s market. She and Harry were frequent attendees of the horse races at Vernon Downs often taking some of their grandchildren along for the experience, or maybe more so because of the love she had for them as well as her desire to include them in everything.

Among her survivors are her son and daughter-in-law, Joseph W. (Dawn M.) Gerstenschlager, Glen Park, NY; two daughters, Linda Reichert, West Virginia, and
Brianna L. Gerstenschlager, Evans Mills, NY; her adopted children, Michael (Susan) Altmire, Alabama, Stephen (Theresia) Selley, Copenhagen, NY, Patricia (Scott) Beattie, Mannsville, NY; two stepchildren, Steven (Bonnie) Gerstenschlager, Brownville, NY and Ann Cousins, Watertown, NY; a sister, Audrey Whitton, Watertown, NY; several grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and her beloved fur baby, Roxy.

Besides her parents and beloved husband, Harry, she is predeceased by two stepchildren, David Gerstenschlager and Carol Lynch; a sister, Helen Selley and three brothers, Kenneth, Harold, and Donald Altmire.

Calling hours will be held from 5 to 6 pm for family and 6 to 9 p.m. for the public on Wednesday, December 21st at the Hart & Bruce Funeral Home 117 N. Massey St., Watertown.

A prayer service will be held at 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, December 22nd at the funeral home followed by an 11a.m. Funeral Mass at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church.

Burial will take place in the North Watertown Cemetery on Friday, May 19th at 3 p.m.

Donations may be made to the American Heart Association.

Online condolences may be left at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Elizabeth J. "Betty" Gerstenschlager, please visit our floral store.


December 21, 2022

6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Hart & Bruce Funeral Home
117 N. Massey Street
Watertown, NY 13601

Prayer Service
December 22, 2022

10:15 AM
Hart & Bruce Funeral Home
117 N. Massey Street
Watertown, NY 13601

Funeral Mass
December 22, 2022

11:00 AM
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church
West Lynde Street
Watertown, NY 13601


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