Nick Betzner, age 30 of Plainwell, passed away on May 22, 2021 at Ascension Borgess Hospital. Nick was born on November 27, 1990 in California. Nick Betzner didn't have an easy life. Abused as a young child, he suffered from what most people would call "profound disabilities." Unable to see and being dependent on others to move around, were to be his lot in life. Add to this his inability to speak and you have a situation most would call an unlucky existence, at best. But no, not for Nick. He had heart and a mind that endured, and was soon to be the beneficiary of a dose of good luck. It happened at Hillside Learning Center in Allegan, where Nick attended school each day. One of his caregivers there was Becky Elkins who, along with other caregivers, bonded with this young man immediately. When shortly thereafter it was decided that Nick needed to be placed in a better living environment, Becky and Bob were urged to take Nick into foster-care in their home. When that happened Nick became a member of a loving family larger than he could have imagined. Joining him was Tasha, his adoptive sister, who was also a Hillside student. The Elkins house became a crowded beehive of activity because of one family rule: if the family goes, everyone goes. When you join a family and get five siblings as part of the deal, get ready for some action. McKinnon, Bobby, Freddie, Mari and Katelin were all active and Nick was one of their biggest fans. At courtside for basketball games, in the stands for football games, attending wrestling events or cheering on the girls at barrel racing events, Nick and Tasha were always there. Nick especially loved the excitement of crowd events, and would smile approvingly at all the hooting and hollering that went on there. Being a fixture at these events made Nick a celebrity of sorts, as many of the spectators were sure to stop by and say hi to him as they passed. At the horse events, Nick could be seen riding a horse with Mari's help. In fact, all of his family members shared their world with him. Family gatherings, especially around the Holidays, were fun and Nick and Tasha enjoyed the merriment, the music and the laughter that filled the rooms. Everyone deserves a nickname and Nick was "Nickel the Pickle." When you said his nickname Nick would snort and smile. That was his laughter and it was contagious--the more he snorted the more everyone shared in the laughter. He seemed especially excited when you asked if he wanted to hear a dirty joke, and his glee was instantaneous. At one of his medical visits, the Doctor and nurse were talking and a mild swear word was uttered. Immediately Nick starting his snorting, pointing out to all that he was always paying attention. One of Nick's loves was music and music was everywhere. Whether it was a family member playing a musical instrument, or whether he had headphones on with his favorite playlist playing, he was happy and content. We all hope that they have music in Heaven. Rest in peace Nickel the Pickle! Nick is survived by his parents, Robert and Rebecca Elkins; siblings: Tasha Betzner, Katelin Elkins, McKinnon and Becky Elkins, Bobby Elkins and Brook Wooten, Freddie Elkins, and Mari Elkins; grandparents: Tom and Christy Dutcher and Jane and Robert Sr. Elkins; nieces and nephews: Grant Roberts, Emma Bruischart, Harley Bruischart, Robert IV Elkins, Raelynn Elkins, and Hazel Elkins. Nick’s family will receive friends on Thursday, May 27, 2021, 11:00 AM to 12:00 Noon, at the Pentecostal Church of Christ Where his funeral service will be conducted at 12:00 Noon. Burial will take place at Oak Hill Cemetery. Those who wish to make memorial contributions are asked to consider the needs of the family. Please visit www.williamsgoresfuneral.com to share a memory or to leave a condolence message for Nick’s family.
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