Betty Ann Zahner

April 25, 1931 - March 18, 2019

Betty Ann Zahner, 87, of St. Charles and a resident of Greenfields of Geneva passed away Monday, March 18, 2019 at Bria of Geneva.  She was born April 25, 1931 in Chicago, IL the daughter of John Lawrence and Katherine (Bazar) McClure.  She was united in marriage to Ronald William Zahner December 18, 1953, Cicero, IL. 

Betty Ann, the youngest of 3 children was raised during the Great Depression.  She spent her childhood learning music and practicing the art of violin and piano.  Primarily instructed by her father, Betty Ann went on to win many awards for her musical talent including the Mayor of Cicero Music Award in 1950.  She attended college at a time when most women did not, at Northern Illinois Teachers College, now known as Northern Illinois University.  There, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Music.  After graduation, Betty Ann was hired for her first professional position at Salt Creek Schools in Elmhurst/Villa Park.  She taught elementary music and pioneered the orchestra program that continues to be a very accomplished program today.  Later, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago.  She loved teaching music to children and believed it played a key role in learning and development.  After the passing of her husband Ronald, Betty Ann went on to raise eight children mostly on her own.  She taught private piano lessons out of her home in order to earn an income to support her family and still be present in her children’s lives.  In the 1980's, Betty Ann returned to Northern Illinois University to earn her Master of Arts degree with an emphasis in Music.  She continued teaching music and playing musical engagements throughout her life.  Music and family were her true passions. 

She is survived by eight children, Ronna Smith-Zahner (Roy Winterburg), Zane (Mary) Zahner, Scott (Michael Denneny) Zahner, Kayette (Gary) Vik, Lance (Sandy) Zahner, Ira (Melinda) Zahner, Melanie (Jim Karner) Zahner, and Laurie (Paul) Zink; seventeen grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her loving husband Ronald Zahner; two brothers John and Earl McClure. 

Memorial services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Saturday, April 13, 2019 at Grace Lutheran Church of Lily Lake 5N600 Hanson Road St. Charles, IL.  Visitation will be held from 9:30 A.M. until the time of the service at the church.

Guest Book

  • Bill McClure (nephew) My dear aunt, a true sweetheart. She helped everyone she could as long as I was I can remember. She would visit my dad all the way in Berwyn and share their love. She raised a beautiful family and will be dearly missed.
  • Dan & Carol Goudzwaard Ronna and family, we are so sorry for your loss. You mom and Grandmother was someone so talented and well loved. She will be missed, please accept our deepest sympathies.
  • Vashti Winterburg Ronna, David and I were so sorry to hear about your loss. Your mother was obviously an amazing woman. Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.
  • Molly Roschmann We loved Betty! Our daughter, Catherine, learned so much about piano and music from Betty. She was a beautiful, talented , and good person. We were sad to hear the news.
  • Janet Perso So sorry to hear of Betty's passing she was such a nice lady. She will be missed.
  • Jeannette Williamsen I'm so sorry to hear of Betty's passing. She was a brave lady, raising 8 kids. I know she will be missed.