Elizabeth (Betty) Shaw Wood Reed
MONTPELIER, VT -- Elizabeth (Betty) Shaw Wood Reed, 90, of Westview Meadows Road in Montpelier, VT, died on December 9, 2011 at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, VT.
She was born on October 31, 1921 in Chengtu, Szechuan, China. She was the eldest of the four children of Rev. Chester F. Wood and Dorothy (Shaw) Wood, who were Baptist missionaries.
Betty grew up in China where she attend the Canadian Boarding School. She and her family returned to the United States in 1939 when she was 17 years old. She graduated from Newton High School, Newton, MA in 1940. Betty attended Colby College in Waterville, her father’s alma mater.
Betty, an English major, was very active on campus and served on the inter-faith board where she met Ronald M. (Ron) Reed, her future husband.
Ron graduated in 1943 and moved to New Jersey to work in a war industry while Betty remained in college until her graduation in May, 1944. They both described this year of separation as very difficult but very worth it for her to complete her education. Betty and Ron were married on the Colby campus on May 22, 1944, the day after Betty’s graduation. They were the first couple to be married on the new Colby campus. Colby was always a special place to both of them.
Betty and Ron lived initially in Trenton, NJ where their first two children, Sandra (Sandy) and Brian, were born. In 1949, they moved back to Maine, Ron’s home state. They settled in Rumford where Ron worked for the Oxford Paper Company and Betty was a homemaker. There they welcomed a second daughter, Barbara.
Throughout their years in Rumford, Betty was an active volunteer working for the Red Cross and the hospital auxiliary, and serving as president of the PTA. She was a den mother for the Cub Scouts. She also taught Sunday School for many years and was active in several clubs at the Franklin Street Methodist Church. The Reed family home was always full of friends and children.
The family moved to Montpelier, VT in 1965, settling on Deerfield Drive where they lived for 40 years. Betty worked for Dr. Porter Dale as a medical assistant for many years. She did volunteer work for Central Vermont Medical Center, for Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice as a hospice volunteer, and as a guide at the Vermont State House. From the time they moved to Montpelier, Betty and Ron were active members of Bethany United Church of Christ where Betty taught Sunday School for over 20 years.
She also served on many boards and committees. She was part of a core group that founded the Brown Bag Bible Study group. Betty loved Bethany and remained active there throughout her life. She was a person of deep faith.
Betty loved her family deeply. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and aunt. She also loved her pets, three Springer Spaniel dogs and several cats over time. She enjoyed camping and traveling all over North America and to many foreign countries.
In later years, she enjoyed traveling with the Northfield Bank Passport Club. She enjoyed cooking, knitting, sewing, playing bridge and attending plays and concerts. Her many friends were very important to her. Betty was unfailingly thoughtful, considerate, and helpful to all.
Betty moved to Westview Meadows Assisted Living Unit in Montpelier in 2005 when she could no longer manage her big home alone. She was clear that was the place she needed to be, and she soon made friends among the other residents and the staff. Betty also became close to the
nurses and technicians at the Dialysis Unit at Central Vermont Medical Center.
She enjoyed getting to know each of them and keeping track of their lives, families and accomplishments. Betty faced aging and increasing infirmities with grace, faith, humor and smiles. Her family is so thankful to the people at Westview Meadows and the Dialysis Unit. She knew she was loved and cared for, and she felt blessed.
Betty is survived by her daughter, Sandra Reed Clougher and her husband, Thomas of Montpelier, VT; her son, Brian and his wife, Holly of South Burlington, VT; four grandchildren, Allison Keelty and her husband, Kristopher of White River Jct., VT, Erin Clougher and her partner, Zachary Green of Northfield, VT, Matthew Reed of Portland, OR, and Emily Reed of Somerville, MA; one great-granddaughter, Rebecca Keelty; her sister-in-law, Arlene Fisher and husband, Charles, her brother-in-law, Gilbert Brown and wife, Nell; a nephew and several nieces and their children and grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her husband of 51 years in February 1996; a daughter, Barbara Reed; a sister, Carolyn Brown; and two brothers Robert Wood and Richard Wood.
A Memorial service will be held at Bethany Church, United Church of Christ at 2 p.m. Wednesday, December 28. A private burial will be held at Green Mount Cemetery in Montpelier at the family‘s convenience.
Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers can be made to Bethany Church, UCC, 115 Main Street, Montpelier, VT 05602 or to Central VT Home Health and Hospice, Inc., 600 Granger Road, Barre, VT 05641.