North Shore's legendary piemaker Betty – of Betty's Pies – dies at 90

Author:
Updated:
Original:

It's been a tradition for two generations of Minnesotans traveling up the scenic North Shore of Lake Superior: planning a pie break at Betty's Pies outside Two Harbors.

Betty Lessard, the legendary baker who built a small empire based on flaky crust, generous fillings and mouth-watering meringue, died Thursday at Duluth's Benedictine Health Center, according to Scott Storms, her nephew. Duluth's FOX21 said that she had been in the nursing home for the past six months.

"She did have a great life,'' he told the Duluth News Tribune.

Just last August, Betty was on duty at the restaurant that bears her name as she celebrated her 90th birthday.

Lessard became famous for her pie recipes and her restaurant on Highway 61 along Lake Superior's North Shore.

A native of northern Minnesota, Lessard began helping her father at a fish shack along the North Shore highway in 1956. The family sold Lake Superior trout and herring.

She added a few pies to the offerings at the stand, starting with a strawberry pie recipe she found in the newspaper. WDIO noted that "...soon the pies became more popular than the fish, and Betty's Pies was born." (By the way, that exact strawberry pie is still dished up at the restaurant.)

Lessard sold the restaurant and retired in 1984. In 1997, another set of owners came in and asked Betty to bring back her original recipes. She did, and Betty's thrived once again.

A memorial service is planned for April 6 at Sunrise Cemetery and Funeral Home in Hermantown.

Next Up

Gary Kubiak

Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak announces retirement

Kubiak wraps up a career that has spanned nearly four decades.

alphaMPD

Minneapolis police seeks public help finding missing woman

A 63-year-old woman has been missing since Tuesday

coronavirus testing

Don't want to talk to a contact tracer? MN debuts online option after positive test

The department says the survey will allow its staff to keep track of more cases at a faster pace

Family Dollar

Money Gal Coaching: 12 things you are wasting your money on

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

police lights

Three teens charged in Minneapolis robberies

The incidents took place on Saturday in Minneapolis.

covid-19, coronavirus, ppe

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, January 21

It's the first time in exactly four months that Minnesota has had fewer than 100 COVID patients in intensive care.

icy roads, bad roads

Girl, 16, killed in crash with semi on icy Minnesota road

The crash happened in Dodge County around 8 a.m. Wednesday.

police lights

Road rage incident sees driver punch out man's window, punch him in face

The incident happened in Waite Park Wednesday morning.

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 7.01.24 AM

Minneapolis will recover $100K in costs connected to 2019 Trump rally

The Target Center operator said it'll pay the costs over three years.

Jacob Frey

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey confirms run for reelection

He has faced criticism over the city's response to George Floyd's death.

Related