Remembering Betty Trentlyon
We note with great sorrow the passing of Betty Trentlyon, age 89, on March 5th of Covid. Betty was a long-time member of the West 400 Block Association and resident of 21st Street. A graduate of Swarthmore College; she met and married Robert (Bob) Trentlyon in 1957 and together they became “pioneers” by moving to 21st Street in 1965 when Chelsea was a different neighborhood than it is today. They were married for 64 years. Betty was always active in local community affairs; in the 1970’s she helped form a green market food co-op on 22nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues. But her interests also spanned the nation and the world. An ardent liberal activist Betty was appalled by the Vietnam War which she considered an unjust and unnecessary war and worked for twenty years with non-profit groups in re settlement of refugees, specifically the Vietnam Boat refugees. Her work grew to extend to other wartorn countries that her agency helped to relocate to the United States.
Known for her integrity and strong moral compass, she joined many causes to relieve human suffering. She was a strong environmentalist who worked in ways large and small to save our planet for future generations. She recycled before it became fashionable, and she relentlessly fought to ensure fracking never came to NY State.
Although Betty raised her family in NYC given that Bob’s chain of community newspapers, ( The Chelsea Clinton News and other community papers), were based in Manhattan, she remained a country girl at heart. Growing up in what was then a rural area of Boonton, New Jersey, she always retained a passionate love of nature. She took great pleasure traveling during retirement: Denali, the Canadian Rockies, Scandinavia, and all over Europe. They especially loved the Pacific Northwest where for twelve years they visited their daughter and their son in law twice a year.
Betty was a bright, well-informed, caring neighbor who could be serious but who also possessed a wry sense of humor. Many of us will remember her as a perky, friendly person frequently seen pulling her cart to the Union Square Green Market or rushing off to the YMCA on 14th street just a month or two before warnings of the new strains of COVID in NYC were becoming more urgent.
We extend our deepest condolences to Bob and their son Jason and daughter Jessica. Messages can be sent to the Trentlyon family at 409 West 21st Street. Given the Covid pandemic, there will be no memorial planned at this time.