Memorial service Sunday for Amherst murder victim

AMHERST – There will be a memorial service Sunday afternoon for the Amherst woman who died at her home last week, the victim of a murder-suicide.

Elizabeth “Betsey” Gage Davis Trombly will be remembered at a 3 p.m. service at the Congregational Church of Amherst on Sept. 28.

Police found the bodies of Trombly, 69, and her son, John D. Trombly, 35, inside her home at 1 Meadow Lane in Amherst on Sept. 14, after they were dispatched to the house to check the well-being of the occupants. The state attorney general’s office said they both died as a result of gunshot wounds from an AK-47 fired by John, who died of a single gunshot.

Trombly grew up in Amherst and graduated from Milford High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western College, Oxford, OH; Montessori Certification from Fairleigh Dickinson College in NJ; and a Masters in Elementary Education from Rivier College in Nashua.

John Trombly was a student at the Vermont Law School, according to an email from school President Mark Mihaly.

He was said to have moved in with his mother in the summer.

Trombly’s suicide followed the suicide by a popular Professor Cheryl Hanna, about a month before the start of the academic year. Hanna, 48, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and the July 27 death hit the Royalton campus hard, according to the Burlington Free Press.

Trombly moved to Meadow Lane, a small residential neighborhood dotted with single-story ranch houses, from a larger house in the Amherst village. Warren said she remembered when the church youth group helped them move in.

The daughter of Donald Henry Davis and Dorothy Johnson Davis, Betsey was born on May 2, 1945 in Nashua. Her grandfather was Everett Johnson, founder of Johnson’s Electric Supply in Nashua.

According to her obituary, from 1979 through 1998 she worked as a full-time homemaker while raising her two sons, John and David, and was an active member of the Congregational Church.

She was married to Rodney Trombly, and they moved to New Jersey for a while and returned to Amherst in 1986. They divorced in 1998.

The last time she talked to Trombly was five years ago, neighbor Barbara Warren said, shortly after the deadly Mont Vernon home invasion that took the life of 42-year-old Kimberly Cates.

As a school reading specialist in Brookline, Trombly knew two of the four participants in the deadly crime because they had grown up and attended schools in town. The invasion, murder and subsequent arrests of the youths, deeply affected Trombly, Warren said.

The Congregational Church is at 11 Church Street, Amherst. The family will hold a private burial service at the Meadowview Cemetery in Amherst.