Betsy Arthur Austen

Betsy Arthur Austen, 83, longtime resident of Amherst, NH, died Monday, December 1, 2014, at Masonicare Health Center in Wallingford, Connecticut, from Lewy Body Disease. She was the wife of the late Edgar “Bud” Austen, they were married June 21, 1952.

Born in New Jersey on July 2, 1931, Betsy was the daughter of Edward and Gertrude French Arthur. She graduated from Paterson State Teachers College (now William Paterson University) with a degree in education. From that moment on, she touched hundreds of children through her career as a teacher, the director of nursery schools based in her homes in Connecticut and New Hampshire, and as the co-founder of Preschool in the Village in Amherst, NH. After “retiring” from teaching she continued to advocate for children by serving as an education surrogate for children in foster care in the state of New Hampshire, acting as part of the team that created plans of care. Betsy was an active member of the Women’s Association at the Amherst Congregational Church and served on the search committee for the latest minister. She was an avid collector of dolls, Santa Clauses, cow figurines, and milk bottles. She also enjoyed her grandchildren, quilting, vacations in Maine, and gathering smooth stones from the beach.

Betsy is survived by her sister Ann Kenyon and her husband Peter, her children Barbara and her husband Stephen Rice, Douglas and his wife Kathleen, and Scott and his wife Lisa, along with numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, and most importantly, her grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held for Betsy in the spring so she can be buried in the memorial garden at Amherst Congregational Church next to her husband of 60 years. Memorial donations may be made to the scholarship fund at the Preschool in the Village, attn. Susan Drum, 11 Church Street, Amherst, NH 03031.