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Betty Gerstenzang MARCUS


1923 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Betty Gerstenzang MARCUS Obituary
MARCUS, Betty Gerstenzang Q-tip Heiress and Long Time Resident of Palm Beach Dies at 94 Betty Marcus died in her home in Jupiter, FL on November 18, 2017, of complications arising from a hip fracture. She was 94 years old. Betty was an only child, born on July 10, 1923, the same year that her Polish immigrant father invented the "Q-tip". The original working name was "Baby Betty Gays", because Betty laughed when her mother and father tickled her ears with them. As recounted by her mother and father, Ziuta and Leo Gerstenzang, the name was shortened to "Baby Gays", and then, because she was such a "cutie", they changed the name to "Cute-tips", shortened to "QT", then marketed by Leo as "Q-tips". Betty grew up on West Side Drive in New York City, was a graduate of the Calhoun School, and spent one year at Northwestern University before marrying her husband, Robert "Bob" Marcus, in 1943 at 19 years of age. Betty finished her education at Parson's School of Design and became a part-time interior decorator. Betty and Bob lived in Scarsdale, NY, where they raised two children. In the 1970's, Betty and Bob bought a second home on Sandpiper Drive in Palm Beach, which eventually became their full-time residence. For several years they also had a pied-a-terre in the Hotel Pierre in New York City. Bob, the love of Betty's life, died in 2001. Bob was president of Q-tips from 1947 to 1959. Subsequently, he was president and owner of S&K Sales Corporation. Betty Marcus was an intrepid traveler and, beginning in the 1950's, traveled to all corners of the world before travel was easy and commonplace. She and her husband were avid art collectors, particularly of American Folk Art. Many of Betty's trips and friends were connected to the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), founded in 1950, that brought together the CEOs of mostly family-owned businesses, such as Q-tips. Other lifelong friends were her neighbors in the communities of Westchester and Palm Beach. Betty and Bob were decades-long members of the Palm Beach Country Club. Betty and Bob were honored for their contributions to the Anti-Defamation League, and they founded an adult day care center called The Leisure Club in West Palm Beach. In the 1980s, they bred and raced thoroughbred horses. Betty is survived by her two children Lauren Hughes and Gary Marcus; her two grandchildren Christopher Hughes (Victoria), and Meghan Hughes Ryan (Adam); and her five great-grandchildren Summer, Zander, and Shannon Hughes; and Jameson and Zadie Ryan. There will be a private family service. Betty's cremated remains will be interred at Ferncliff Cemetery in Westchester, NY, placed in the family vault next to her husband, Bob, and close to the remains of her parents, Leo and Ziuta Gerstenzang.
Published in The Palm Beach Daily News on Nov. 26, 2017
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