University of Wisconsin-Superior
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Superior, WI 54880
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The UW-Superior campus community and alumni from decades past are sorrowed to learn of the passing of Betty Mortorelli, the "First Lady of Sports" in Superior and widow of the Yellowjacket sports legend Mertz Mortorelli.
Mary Elizabeth"Betty" Mortorelli died Aug. 31, 2012, in Superior. She was 90 years old.
Betty came to Superior in 1954 when Mertz was hired as the university's first athletic director. As he coached and mentored generations of young men, Betty joined in by volunteering her efforts at virtually every university athletic event. Even more important, she welcomed countless student-athletes into her home and provided guidance, support and encouragement.
She also served as an unofficial ambassador for Yellowjacket athletics, hosting such notable visitors as Vince Lombardi, Kathy Rigby, Bud Grant and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Beyond that, she was active in her community and her church, and a long-time employee of the university. Her role was of such prominence that in 1998 she was inducted into the UW-SuperiorAthletic Hall of Fame.
Mertz died in 1985 following a career in which he greatly expanded the university athletics program and played a role in construction of many campus athletic facilities. In the years that followed, the young men and women who knew Betty grew older but never lost their admiration, affection and gratitude for her and the role she so selflessly played in their lives.
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