Betty at Warren’s Fish Pond


We found Betty’s 333 Lucy Street home by spotting her sitting in her three season

porch watching for us.  She had just returned from a recruitment program at Friendship Village and reported by being a bit agitated by the experience.  “I felt I needed to escape from there”, she reported.  It didn’t take long before we understood that her home hared with the “love of her life” for 31 years could not easily be separated from her identity.  Her husband, Warren, had passed just over a year ago but he was still very much present in every nook and cranny of the property.


She first walked us out to backyard to show us Warren’s fish pond into which she sprinkled fish food.  This ritual seemed to be one of her many connections to his spirit.  On entering her house we were introduced to Warren’s vast hobby production of stuffed winged and four-footed animals covering most floors, shelves and ceiling areas. Inside the front door two coyotes blocked our entry, one with a slip of  paper in its mouth containing a handwritten note from Betty stating her desire not to be medically revived if facing irreversible illness.


Besides Warren’s vast collection of professionally done taxidermy creations crowding out space, family and travel photos, travel artifacts, antiques, and carious meaningful collections left little room to congregate. Two electrically driven lounge chairs together faced a fireplace almost hidden behind fox, beaver, skunk, weasel and other mammals not likely to be so closely gathered in the wild.


Betty shared stories about her first 12 years in the South Shore area of Chicago and she noted numerous Saugatuck and Douglas residents who originated from that area.  As a child she spent summers with her grandparents on a large tract of land on the South side of Lucy Street between Butler and Holland streets.  Her home was the oldest, having been brought from Singapore ahead of the encroaching dunes.  The earliest memories of summers in Saugatuck that Betty recalled were of hikes over Mt. Baldhead to Oval Beach with friends, working at the soda lounge, and nightly movies at the Pavilion.


About the same time that she graduated from high school, Betty’s father, Willard Watson, was assigned as an Internal Revenue Service director to the Holland area, allowing him to live in his favorite place and Betty to attend and graduate from Hope College.  In the early 1960s, she suffered a serious leg injury in a car accident that left here “disabled”.  This did not curb her active professional life as a Spanish teacher at the elementary through college levels.  “High school kids were my favorite because they were crazy” she professed.


Details about Betty’s family of origin and her married life can be found in the SDHS archive 1988 edition of History of Western Allegan County Michigan F442, F443, F578.



Betty’s Wedding Dress         Betty and Warren Mulder                 Warren Mulder