"Blessed with such an amazing mother, the feeling was her obituary needed to include sharing some details of what a remarkable human being she truly was. We are all faced with trials and tribulations in life, but it is how we face them with strength, faith and courage with our God-given paths that can make all the difference, Mom was no exception. Throughout her life, she remained full of love, gratitude, and much happiness."
Bessie (Betty) I. Robinson, 95 of Barton, passed on February 18, 2020, in Newport, VT. She had been pleasantly surprised just a few weeks earlier when her family arrived to celebrate her birthday. Betty was born January 26, 1925 in Lyndon Center, Vermont. The eldest child born to David E. Libby and Jessie (Ennor) Libby.
The family moved to Littleton, New Hampshire where Betty's father was employed with the Town of Littleton.
Tragedy then seemed to "loom" over Betty's life. Her father suffered an untimely death while working for the Town of Littleton when Betty was eight years old. One year later her mother lost her life in a housefire at the family's home in town. The children at that time, were then fostered out to be raised by other extended family members.
Betty went to live on the farm, with her Aunt Marjorie and Uncle Harry Alexander, their son Harold Shonia, and Grandpa John Duffy, (Marjorie's father), in Brownington Center, Vermont. She attended the Brownington Schools. Even though the children were separated, and at that time methods of communication were limited, their "adoptive" families took all options available to them for the siblings to remain in contact with each other, mostly via mail.
At the age of 16, Betty was given an opportunity to travel to Hartford, CT., where she took employment as a Nanny, along with part-time employment at G. Foxx Department Store. It was during that time friends from Plainfield, Vermont, who had also gone to Connecticut for employment, introduced Betty to a young handsome lad, David Y. Robinson, from Bellefonte, Arkansas. He was working for Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Company. They were indeed quite smitten with each other and were married October 27, 1943
They headed West to Payette, Idaho to make their home and start their family. David's family had since made the move from Arkansas to Idaho and surrounding states.
It was in 1956, David was a building contractor and was tragically killed on a construction site at the age of 33. Betty, obviously in mourning with four young children to raise, soon made the decision to return to Vermont to be with her family. It was within days of David's death, a telegram arrived from Vermont informing her that Uncle Harry had passed, leaving Aunt Marjorie with the farm. Betty boarded a train in Idaho with her children, traveling three days and nights and returned to Vermont. Burdened with finding work, enrolling her children in school, and being widowed at such a young age ………One can only imagine.
As difficult as it was to leave David's family, Betty returned to Vermont. She vowed she and the children would remain in contact with them. She kept her promise with phone calls, letters and return visits. Using her vacations from work, she would pack up the car and drive the distance across country to Idaho from Vermont. With love, determination, and wisdom, she planned those trips in advance, incorporating fun, education, and very rewarding experiences. Stops were made to visit various points of interest along the way. One such trip was traveling out through the US and returning via Canada. As lengthy road trips could be long and tiresome for everyone and Interstate routes at that time were incomplete, stops at school playgrounds were included for picnics and leisure time. She knew the schools would also be on vacation.
She worked as a sales clerk at the M. H. Fishman Co. store in Newport for a short period of time until she was offered a position at the then Howard National Bank in Orleans as a teller. She would work there for 25 years before taking an early retirement.
While working at the bank, she worked a few hours nights and/or weekends for Maple Lane Nursing Home and Poole's Rest Home. Moving to Massachusetts with good friends, Evelyn and Gail Thompson, she worked approximately seven years for a tech company making and repairing radar detectors before returning to Vermont. The new Congress Court Apartment building with Barton Chambers had just been completed. She was the first tenant to occupy the new building, residing there for nearly 30 years. No stranger to work, she again took part time employment at the Irving Mini Mart in Barton for a few years, which was and still is conveniently located across the street from her apartment.
She was an active member of the Brownington Center Methodist Church and remained involved until its closure, even assisting with the interior painting of the church a time or two.
She was a fabulous cook making an assortment of confections for every holiday for all and we looked forward to the delicious meals she would bring to the sugarhouse every year. She was a very avid reader with a collection of her many favorite books. Her fancy work of crocheting was lovely, including many afghans, doilies, scarves, and baskets for wedding favors. While living in the west, she would sew outfits for her girls to wear to the rodeos every year. She enjoyed a variety of several musicians including Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Celtic Women, Daniel O'Donnel, and Andre' Rieu, attending one of Rieu's concerts and thoroughly enjoying not only the music, but the beautiful gowns his attendants wore. She delighted in the beauty of all flowers. Pastimes and hobbies she so thoroughly enjoyed until health and eyesight deteriorated with Macular Degeneration Disease……frustrating her immensely.
Very devoted to her family, Mom was loving, kind, and extremely generous to each and everyone. Always attentive and the greatest listener, only offering advice if requested. She was our strength, never complained, never lost her faith and always remained steadfast trusting in God for the path he led her to live. She would always comment "I have broad shoulders." Her genuine qualities were certainly immeasurable to all her family and friends, both near and far.
She is survived by her daughters, Patricia (Patsy) Prue of Barton, Kathy (Rene) Desmarais of Irasburg. Her grandchildren, Andre (Kim) Desmarais of Irasburg, Chad (Vicky) Prue of Newport Center, Tisha LeBlanc of Barre, Teri Prue of North Troy, several great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins. Not to forget her adored bird, Amigo, a miniature parrot.
Betty was predeceased by her husband David Y. Robinson, daughter Sandra Jean O'Keefe , son David, grandson Shawn Prue. Her siblings, brother David Libby, twin sisters, Velma Bowman and Thelma Wells, Wyllian (Libby) Sanborn, sister-n-law, Sue Libby, brother-n-law Robert Sanborn, and close friends, Evelyn and Gail Thompson and Lennie Emmerson.
Our Special Thanks to niece, Bonnie Bowman for her frequent phone calls, cousin, Alice Buttons, and nephew Mark Sanborn for always remembering Mom on her birthday with Roses and Van Otis chocolates. Also, Betty Towle, Mary Stenburg, and Phyllis Kennison for the many cards and phone calls during Mom's last few months, it was so very pleasing to her.
We are especially grateful to Christie Aldrich, Dr. Leslie Lockridge, VNA, North Country Hospital , and Bel Aire Nursing Facility for their care, kindness and compassion.
Mom so loved and enjoyed animals, so perhaps if you choose, you could remember her by contributing to a local animal shelter, remembering the less fortunate, or just offering an act of kindness to someone.
Memorial Day was a day Mom took pride in honoring, therefore a Celebration of her life and burial is to take place at the Brownington Center Cemetery May 22, 2020 at 2:00, with Mickie Richards officiating.
"Your life was a blessing,
Your memory a treasure
You are loved beyond words
And missed beyond measure"
On-line condolences at curtis-britch.com.
Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Curtis-Britch & Bouffard Funeral Home, locally family owned and operated.