CUBA CITY—Softball was a favorite pastime for Betty Loeffelholz starting at an early age. She played ball while attending a one-room country school and eventually joined a traveling team out of Belmont.
“I’ve played ball all my life,” Betty said.
She also started the girls fastpitch summer program in Cuba City in 1972 and ran the summer program for many years and coached softball for 30 years. Now she helps the program in any way she can as an alderwoman on the city council.
Betty grew up helping at her family’s farm, now known as Wilson Organics, located just south of Cuba City. The farm has been in her family since 1848.
She eventually left to attend UW-Platteville where she graduated with a degree in communications with a minor in journalism. She remained in Platteville one year after graduating, then moved to Minnesota for six months and Omaha, Neb., for a year before returning to her hometown in 1972.
When her first child was born in 1974, Betty stayed home with her for a few years. She was hired to drive a bus to take people to meal sites and other activities. She set up programs where the elderly from the area could visit museums and events and go shopping. Shortly after she stopped doing that, her older sister, Bonnie, asked if she wanted to help her buy H&R Block in Platteville. She was talked into it and started her career in tax preparation in 1977.
Near the end of their first tax season, they were approached by Bonnie’s former accounting instructor at UW-Platteville about taking over the Platteville Schools Credit Union. He had started it out of his office at the university, made up of members employed at Platteville Public Schools and UW-Platteville. Betty and Bonnie moved the credit union’s location to the H&R Block, an office Betty described as extremely small. At the time, the credit union was 354 members with $354,000 in assets.
“I always tell people if they’re going into business for themselves, it takes three years,” Betty said. “If you can last three years, you’ve got it made. It took us three years before we started seeing anything in our pockets.”
In 1994, they sold H&R Block in Platteville to the present owners. Betty continues to work with them on a part-time basis and Bonnie started her own accounting business.
In 2000, they changed the credit union’s name to Rountree Credit Union.
“While we had it, we petitioned to become a community credit union,” Betty said. “Before that we had added Potosi and Belmont school districts to it.”
Bonnie retired from the credit union in 2000. In 2007, after being approached by other credit unions for many years, Rountree Credit Union merged with Dupaco Credit Union.
“We were a very healthy credit union,” Betty said. “I kept saying no, but then the time came when I knew I would want to retire. We ended up having the membership vote and we merged with Dupaco. We were at $8.1 million in assets with 2,600 members.”
“This ball team means a lot to me,” Betty said. “When I was younger I played on 4-H and country school teams,” Betty said. “At 16 I joined the Belmont Jets. They had uniforms and a bus that took the whole team to the games.”
When she moved back to the area after college, she joined an adult team and continued to play.
When she joined the Jaycettes in 1972, she started a girls youth team tournament as a fundraiser. She remembers the field conditions during rain, carrying buckets of water from the field every day of the tournament.
“The fields are in much better condition now,” Betty said.
The tournament cleared $3,000 its first year. She eventually invited 28 teams for fifth through eight grades.
“I’d always tell them, you don’t learn from teams that are worse than you,” Betty said. “You only learn from teams that are better.”
Betty said she had a lot of fun with the teams over the years.
“It wasn’t just ball, it was being there for these kids,” Betty said.
Betty is actively involved with the Cuba City United Methodist Church. In past years she was also involved in the Chamber of Commerce, Toys for Tots and served on the UW-Platteville Alumni Association Board of Directors for nine years where she helped establish the Tri-State Initiative.
She and her husband Donald “Beanie” Loeffelholz have three children: Dana Mitchell, Mary Colette Loeffelholz and Kurt Loeffelholz. They have three grandchildren: Tristan, 20, Morgan, 15, and Kyan, 3.
Betty has two projects she would like to see Cuba City complete: lighting at the ball parks and the presidential museum. She would also like to see more housing to help Cuba City grow.
“I would like to see a more progressive attitude in Cuba City,” Betty said. “Yes, we want to keep things the same, but we can’t hibernate and expect things to grow. We have to help make the changes. Moving forward and making some change is good.”
She said adding to the tax base would allow more to be offered in the community and provide a bigger budget for better streets.
“We can’t do these things unless we can finance them and right now the budget is really tight,” Betty said.
As an alderperson, Betty likes to hear what the community has concerns about. She has been a part of the common council since 2012.
Editor's Note: This column will be a special addition to the Tri-County Press on a monthly basis. Look for each installment near the end of the month. All volunteers are recomended for the article by Mayor Tom Gile. If you have ideas for future volunteers in the community to be recognized, contact Gile at 608-744-3203.