Betsy H. Green

Date of Birth

August 26, 1925

Date of Death

January 2, 2018

Betsy made her entrance in Buffalo and lived here and there, each move an improvement in climate and scenery. Seattle had the University of Washington, skiing, wild mountain blackberries, and William J. Green. That sufficed until she and Bill visited Santa Barbara in 1964. They relocated within a matter of weeks, two kids in tow. On January 2, 2018, at the age of 92, Betsy made her exit in Santa Barbara, in her beloved glass room, with two kids holding her hands.

She had a sneaky sense of humor. She was charming and classy. She liked to do for others. She was dependable and no-nonsense. She made a mean pie. And she had a lethal grip.

Betsy was a creature of habit (cocktail hour, Jeopardy!) …but she was no homebody. She volunteered for the Santa Barbara Symphony Music Van, a mobile classroom. She liked to tool around in a classic BMW. Her passion for polar bears led her to the Canadian tundra at age 80. She liked to bask in the sun at the Mesa Café. Perhaps you saw her there, hanging out with her favorite dog, sipping a margarita.

Betsy got her degree in music from the University of Washington in 1948. Music was a reliable source of pleasure throughout her life. Even when she couldn’t walk in the last few days of her life, she still tapped her foot to Mel Brooks’ “Recording the Producers” and favorite tracks of Canadian Brass. The Three Tenors’ performance of “Nessun Dorma” gave her a thrill—every time.

Betsy and Bill enjoyed success running a local building specialties business. When they closed up shop they did some traveling and made frequent trips to Seattle, where Betsy developed a taste for art glass. Her collection grew by leaps and bounds, neck and neck with her collection of all things polar bear.

We’re sorry she didn’t get to see the aurora borealis before she left.

Betsy didn’t want a memorial service for herself, but she sure did like a New Orleans–style jazz funeral, especially the second line. As tempting as it would be to make that happen, we’ll abide by her wishes.

Betsy is survived by son Bob Green (Lindsey) of Goleta, and by daughter Barbara Jo Green (Buddy) of Seattle.

The family is forever indebted to the team of capable and compassionate caregivers who were always there for Betsy when we couldn’t be: Meredith, Mery, Claudia, Ana, Elena, Nelly, and Bonnie, to name a few. Thank you to Steven H. Young, Jeff Kupperman, and the many kind and dedicated medical professionals who kept her kicking all these years. And finally, much love and appreciation to Karen Freeman and nephew Kevin Murphy, who kept the blackberries coming.


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