Otisville pastor succumbs to COVID-19; community remembers her loving and giving spirit

Published: Oct. 30, 2020 at 5:58 PM EDT
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OTISVILLE, Mich. (WJRT) - The Otisville community is in shock and disbelief after COVID-19 took one of their own.

“Just a very wonderful person to know, she loved life, she loved everybody that she came in contact with,” said resident Becky Zimmerman.

Pastor Betty Kay Leitelt of Otisville United Methodist Church passed away from COVID-19 on Oct. 28. According to the church’s Facebook page, she had been sick for a couple weeks and was recently hospitalized and put on a ventilator.

Those that knew her well said they know she fought the virus until the very end -- a true testament to pastor Kay’s strength and character as a person.

“She was just a person person. She loved life. She loved her grandchildren,” said friend Mary Hemingway.

Hemingway has been a parishioner at Otisville United Methodist Church for 74 years -- 10 of those years with Pastor Kay. Hemingway holds those 10 years being shepherded by Pastor Kay close to her heart.

“She meant a lot to me, because she has helped my family get through hard times. But she was just a very loving person,” Hemingway said.

Pastor Kay also is remembered for her giving spirit. She spent every Thursday at the Forest Township Senior Center. She had a love for karaoke. She was a woman of humor, of love, of respect, and compassion

“What makes any friendship special, it’s just the love in the air,” said friend David Cross.

Meanwhile, church services at Otisville United Methodist Church have been canceled temporarily. The hope is to have services resume Nov. 15.

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