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Liz Stevenson

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Liz Stevenson

BENNINGTON Liz Stevenson, 57, a resident of Bennington since 1977, beloved mother, daughter, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, cousin, and friend, died Saturday, July 10, after a long illness. She leaves her children, Matthew of Scottsdale Ariz., Kasha of Boston, and Christopher of Bennington. She also leaves her father, Ray Dry, of Simsbury, Conn.; her brother, Andy Dry and sister-in-law, Ann D'Antonio of Wassenaar, Netherlands; her sister, Sarah Dry and brother-in-law, Sotiris Tetradis, of Culver City, Calif.; and her many nephews, cousins, and friends. She was predeceased by her husband, Mark Stevenson, and her mother, Renee Dry.

Liz grew up in Simsbury, Conn., and was a 1975 graduate of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., where she met her future husband, Mark. Liz received her M.A. in Education from Framingham State University, in Framingham, Mass.

Liz and Mark were married in 1977 and moved to Bennington shortly thereafter.

Liz started teaching in 1977 at the Halifax School in West Halifax, Vt., teaching grades 3 through 5 her first year, and grades 6 through 8 her second year. In 1979 she began teaching grade 5 in the North Bennington Graded School, North Bennington, Vt., where she taught through 1982.

In 1982 she left teaching temporarily to start a family, but took an active role in the Bennington Free Library, serving as a Director and later as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Her impact there was crucial as a key player in a broad-based community team that raised more than $350,000 and secured bonding for the remaining construction costs. The biggest impact of this effort was dramatically increasing the size of the Children's Room which, over time, has become a busy, activity-filled space for family reading. A plaque in the Children's Room saying, "Liz Stevenson Story Corner" commemorates her work on behalf of the library.

Liz returned to teaching at the Whitingham School in Whitingham, Vt. in 1991, where she taught grades 7 through 9. She began teaching in the Molly Stark Elementary School in Bennington in 1992 and remained there through 2003, where she taught 5th and 6th grade. In 2003, Liz moved to the Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, where she taught 9th and 10th graders, mentored students in Freshman Forum and Project Leap, and served on numerous committees.

Liz was a devoted, committed teacher, as her numerous students can attest. She was demanding but always fair, expecting her students to reach their potential, helping them to do this, and always seeking out what was best and exceptional in each student. Liz was always optimistic and determined, and she met the challenges she faced in her last years directly, with a relentlessly positive outlook. Even with her own difficulties, she would look to see if she could help someone else, to make someone else's life easier and happier.

Liz was a wonderful cook and an exceptional baker. Her peanut butter and ginger cookies were well known and loved. Her home was always filled with wonderful smells of foods cooking and baking, and her doors were always open for visitors, friends, and family. Liz was a loyal, supportive, and loving friend, and was blessed by having wonderful friends with whom she shared her joys and her struggles. Liz's telephone never stopped ringing, even till the very end, as she kept up with her loved ones. Her friends have been an amazing, dedicated, and loving source of support for her and her family during her illness. Her children and family cannot thank them enough for the help and comfort they gave Liz and her family throughout her illness. Another huge source of support throughout Liz's last days were the wonderful, caring personnel of the Southwestern Vermont Hospice/VNA.

Liz was a beloved mother, wife, daughter, sister, sister-in-law, cousin, aunt and friend. We will all miss her greatly.

FUNERAL NOTICE: A celebration of Liz's life will be held at Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 16th. The family asks that, instead of flowers, donations be made in Liz's memory to "The Liz Stevenson Scholarship Fund" to be used for an annual scholarship to a graduating senior. Checks should be mailed to E.P. MAHAR AND SONS FUNERAL HOME, 628 Main Street, Bennington, VT 05201.



Published in Bennington Banner on July 12, 2010
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